How Bitcoin ATMs in Greece fare during a record-breaking tourist season


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Greece is globally recognized for its touristic lures of idyllic seashores and a laid-back way of life. Previous to the outbreak of the worldwide pandemic, the World Journey and Tourism Council stated that tourism generated over one-fifth of Greece’s complete GDP.

This yr, the nation confronted a file variety of vacationers throughout its summer time tourism season. Within the month of August alone, the nation acquired almost 1 million journey arrivals per week, in line with the Greek Minister of Tourism Vassilis Kikilias.

A report from ForwardKeys on this yr’s summer time tourism revealed that, of the highest ten “solar and seashore” places in Europe, Greece held six areas. These included the island locations of Mykonos, Thira (Santorini) and Heraklion (Crete), in addition to Thessaloniki. Athens, the nation’s capital, took third place for “city” locations in Europe.

Within the 27 European Union member states, Greece takes the sixth spot in terms of cryptocurrency ATMs, with 64 energetic for utilization. Over half of Greece’s crypto ATMs are shared between Athens and Thessaloniki.

Nevertheless, the Bitcoin ATM operator BCash strategically positioned a few of its ATMs within the nation’s stylish island locations of Mykonos, Santorini and Crete. Cointelegraph spoke with the managing director and co-founder of BCash, Dimitrios Tsangalidis, on how crypto is impacted by or itself impacts the tourism season in Greece.

Though Mykonos and Santorini are essentially the most visited vacationer locations, the mainland ATMs have the vast majority of visitors, in line with Tsangalidis — particularly central Athens, the place the primary ATM was put in, and Thessaloniki.

Nevertheless, the co-founder famous that in Crete, the nation’s most populated island and a well-liked vacationer vacation spot, there’s a “very loyal cryptocurrency crowd.”

“There’s a robust crypto group in Heraklion of Crete [which is] the placement of one in every of our ATMs.”

In Heraklion, the capital of Crete, the native start-up accelerator H2B Hub made a collaboration with the Greek-speaking College of Nicosia to create and help an area blockchain group.

Each Athens and Thessaloniki have energetic, regular meetups for the crypto and blockchain group.

Whereas tourism bolsters components of the Greek financial system, in line with Tsangalidis, it doesn’t translate to the crypto scene. “Sadly, absolutely the reverse occurs,” says Tsangalidis. 

“In summer time months and excessive vacationer seasons, the demand drops. However we’re in the course of crypto winter that got here earlier this yr, so it’s actually arduous to inform.”

Particularly by way of common visitors, the lower can be equated to locals leaving for trip.

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Normally, Greece wants extra consciousness of cryptocurrencies and their utility in on a regular basis life,  Tsangalidis sums up.

“Affect on native tourism may be noticeable provided that there’s a normal adoption of cryptocurrency inside society.”

He provides that for now, there’s little to no infrastructure or adoption from the extent of Greek companies and native governments. “If our authorities will develop into crypto pleasant and if a inexperienced mild shall be given to companies, then adoption will comply with.”

In Could of this yr, the president of the Greek Nationwide Tourism Group, Angela Gerekou, stated the nation is at the moment exploring how blockchain expertise can result in security and transparency in tourism.