A group of individuals convinced of the advantages and potential of Bitcoin cryptocurrency has decided to create a ‘bitcoin street’ in Barcelona. This is in imitation of the initiative that was introduced in Madrid a few weeks ago, which allows customers of over 20 retailers in the shopping street calle Serrano (in the famous Madrid ‘golden mile’) to be able to make purchases with this currency that is as controversial as it is popular.
The purpose of creating a second ‘Bitcoin street‘ in Spain, the first is in Madrid and the second in Barcelona, is to make a greater number of retailers in the same area offer this new form of payment to its customers.
In the district of Ciutat Vella, a street with retailers “spaced apart by less than 500 meters”, the name of which has not yet been revealed, will become the second ‘Bitcoin street’ in Spain. But, why in Ciutat Vella? Because of its tourist status, central location and high concentration of stores, clarifies Borja Rossell, one of the promoters of the initiative and CEO of BTCpoint, a startup engaged in producing and installing bitcoin ATMs.
The initiative has fifteen volunteers who have begun visiting the retailers. They aim to have 20 or 30 retailers, focusing more on small businesses than franchises, as these may be more likely to innovate with regard to payment channels. The promoters want to make it clear to traders that this change does not entail any cost to them.
The intention is that the initiative is ready for consumers to start operating with bitcoins at the same time that the Mobile World Congress is held in Barcelona from March 2 to 5, 2015. This is a time in which Barcelona will become, as has been the case in previous years, the media benchmark of the technology sector worldwide thanks to its approximately 70,000 visitors. This will increase the impact of the implementation of the ‘Bitcoin street’. Moreover, as noted by Carrerbitcoin.com, “in the next event, payment methods like Bitcoin will be one of the latest developments as a form of mobile payment.”
The intention is that the initiative is ready for consumers to start operating with bitcoins at the same time that the Mobile World Congress is held in Barcelona from March 2 to 5, 2015
Something similar was attempted in this year’s event by installing a bitcoin ATM in one of the city’s malls. But this initiative, launched by the Barcelona company PayMaQ together with Bbank at a time in which only Vancouver (Canada) and Helsinki (Finland) had something similar, only had a provisional approach. However, since November 25 last year Barcelona has had a permanent bitcoin ATM installed by the company BTCPoint.
This ATM is in FabCafé, a café equipped with 3D printers that are available to customers and located within the MOB, a co-working space in which the first meeting of project volunteers took place on November 10, convened in BitcoinTalk.org forums. This ATM will make it possible to buy or sell bitcoins operating at the moment only in cash, and subject to the 2,500-euro limit set by Spanish legislation.
At present and awaiting the success of what will be the second ‘Bitcoin street’ in the country, only twenty retailers in the Catalan capital accept payments with bitcoins, and there is only one establishment where it is possible to change euros to bitcoins (the aforementioned FabCafé). These figures indicate that the implementation of this technology will be far behind what can be observed in major world capitals.
Bitcoin is a digital currency that makes it possible to make encrypted transactions globally and using exclusively electronic means to do so, without the presence of intermediaries or commissions, and unrelated to any particular country or bank. It is valued today between 400 and 500 euros a unit but this is variable (since it depends on usage by its users in the market). The issuance of bitcoin units depends on an algorithm that, to ensure the currency’s stability, limits its number to only 21 million bitcoins in the world.
If you would like to know more about Bitcoins, you can watch the event BBVA Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies that was held at the Innovation Center, and the interview we conducted with Jeff Garzik from BitPay about the future and the evolution of bitcoin.
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