August 29, 2018
By: Steven Anderson
The cryptocurrency market, easily one of the biggest new revolutions in mobile payments since the mobile wallet, is a wildly fluctuating market that has made early adopters filthy rich and comparative latecomers—like the folks who mortgaged their houses back at a nearly-$20,000 bitcoin—much poorer. ICOBox recently dropped word our way about a report it did examining the bitcoin market in Spain, and perhaps the biggest surprise is that bitcoin is gaining in popularity there.
Spain’s economic picture has never been what you’d call bright in recent years. The New York Times talked about the end of “Spain’s long economic nightmare” back in July of 2017 after a decade of lost ground, but in February of 2018, the UK’s Express publication talked about a “Spanish timebomb” talked about on Wall Street, as well as “economic crisis” afoot.
At any rate, the ICOBox study found that bitcoin is actually on the rise in Spain, as 67 percent have already heard of cryptocurrency. Not only are regular Spaniards putting these to work, but the country is also playing host to major crypto conferences like Blockchain Solutions World 2018, coming to Barcelona.
Plus, an ING study found that 32 percent of Spaniards had plans to buy cryptocurrency in the near future. That actually makes Spain one of the leading cryptocurrency markets in Europe, alongside Turkey and Romania. Some companies, like credit repair firm Repara to Deuda are even paying employees in bitcoin, while the IEBS business school accepts bitcoin for master’s registration.
It’s interesting that the Spanish here seem to have concerns about safety thanks to a lack of regulation, but at the same time, given the economic situation in the country, there are at least some who are taking the plunge anyway. Perhaps some are looking for a currency that can go multinational at any given time; the bitcoin a Spaniard can buy is the same bitcoin an Italian or a German or even a Russian will accept for goods or services. Bitcoin’s universal nature may make it especially attractive in a weakened economy.
Regardless of the explanation, for now, bitcoin is doing brisk business in Spain and in other places as well. It remains to be seen how much farther it will go.