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The Ten Top Cities to Visit With Bitcoin in Your Pocket

Investopedia recently used Coin ATM Radar, coinmap.org and other metrics to calculate the best cities around the globe to visit with Bitcoin.

You don’t have to be in London or New York to use or access your bitcoins.  ATMs are turning up in the most unlikely places, such as the sleepy Devon town of Kingsbridge in the South West of England, where just last month a Bitcoin ATM was set up in the corner of the town’s Tourist Centre.

The Prague subway now has ten new machines spread across its route and the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), has clarified that banks in Germany now have the right to upgrade existing ATMs in the country to facilitate certain cryptocurrencies. With the last ATM count approaching 4000 worldwide, it won’t be too long before one is accessible wherever a traveler finds themselves.

So, until then, for the global traveler, where is the best place to cash out some BTC or buy dinner? The following breakdown includes Investopedia’s top dogs when it comes to accessing or spending your crypto funds. Here are the top ten based on Bitcoin accessibility and usability.

  1. The global base of mega crypto exchange Coinbase is San Francisco, not only home of the street tram and Fisherman’s Wharf, but also home to 177 Bitcoin-accepting merchants and 29 Bitcoin ATMs.
  2. Canada has a reputation for being crypto friendly, having been recently described as further advanced in cryptocurrency policy than its US neighbor. The coastal city of Vancouver boasts of 86 merchants accepting the digital currency as well as 48 Bitcoin ATMs around the city.
  3. Half a million Dutch households own crypto so it is unsurprising that Dutch capital Amsterdam is Bitcoin-friendly to the traveler. There are about 74 merchants around the tiny country, with a population under 800,000, accepting Bitcoin. Although, ATMs are not yet patronized as that of the neighboring cities. Approximately 60% of the households in the Netherlands who invest in cryptocurrencies started doing so in 2017.
  4. Ljubljana, Slovenia with a tiny population of 272,000, Ljubljana has 51 merchants accepting Bitcoin and five ATMs.
  5. Tel Aviv, Israel. Israel’s financial center offers 58 merchants that are more than happy to take BTC and has 4 Bitcoin ATMs. Bitcoin is a fact of life in the country, and the government has acknowledged it as a taxable asset with investors purchasing gold and real estate with the flagship cryptocurrency, cherishing its anonymity.
  6. Along with Malta, Switzerland is Europe’s real crypto mover and shaker. Out of the world’s six biggest initial coin offerings (ICOs) last year, four took place in Switzerland, according to Swiss financial watchdog, Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). In Zurich 64 merchants take Bitcoin and eight ATMs serve a tiny population of 366,000. Bitcoin is now available as payment at 1,357 railway ticket kiosks around the alpine nation.
  7. Tampa, Florida may seem an unlikely place to find a community utilizing cryptocurrency but the city provides as many as 93 merchants accepting BTC. Also, a good scattering of 13 ATMs around the city means that travelers are never far from a source of cash.
  8. Both Venezuela and Argentina are in financial crisis. However traveling in Buenos Aires with Bitcoin is made easy with a huge 130 merchants accepting Bitcoin and 3 ATMs, although the government of Argentina has promised to swell those numbers over the next few years. In fact, with no intention of keeping things small, Argentina plans to become the world’s biggest player with pre-agreements to install 4,000 ATM around the South American country.
  9. New York usually does things big, hence 117 ATMs around the city, meaning that most areas of the city are covered whether up, mid, or downtown. 122 merchants also accept Bitcoin as payment. Wall St. has been making noises about crypto this year, so it shouldn’t be too long before banks update their fiat ATMs in America’s banking metropolis.
  10. The UK was quick to take to cryptocurrency; 88 merchants accepting Bitcoin and 74 ATMs around the busy and culturally diverse capital illustrate this enthusiasm. London made the news recently when a mosque announced that it had successfully reached and exceeded its target of donations over the Ramadan period – in cryptocurrency.

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Amsterdam Installs First Airport Bitcoin ATM in Europe

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, the main international airport in the Netherlands, has installed the first European airport Bitcoin ATM according to a press release on 20 June 2018. This is the 20th Bitcoin ATM installed in the Netherlands, placing the Netherlands 12th in the world for number of Bitcoin ATMs. Currently, Europe has 21.45% of the 3,292 Bitcoin ATMs in the world, while North America dominates at 74.39%.

The director of consumer products and services at Schiphol, Tanja Thick, said the machine was installed to give travelers an option to convert their remaining cash from the local currency EUR to a global currency like Bitcoin or Ethereum, so that they could use the currency when they get home. This will begin as a six-month trial to test interest in the service, and this Bitcoin ATM is being provided via a partnership with The Byecoin Company.

Indeed, a traveler could easily convert Bitcoin or Ethereum to their local fiat currency when they get back home if they have access to a Bitcoin ATM that has cryptocurrency to fiat functionality, which is called a two-way Bitcoin ATM. Some 37% of Bitcoin ATMs have two-way functionality while the remainder only allow users to buy cryptocurrency with cash. If a two-way Bitcoin ATM is not available, a user can simply send the Bitcoin purchased at the Schiphol ATM to their cryptocurrency exchange account, where it can be sold for their local fiat and deposited to their bank account.

Essentially, Bitcoin provides travelers an alternative option to currency exchange stores. This doesn’t necessarily save on fees, since Bitcoin ATMs often have fees of 10% or even more. However, it is safer for travelers to store their money as cryptocurrency since it is not vulnerable to physical theft.

 

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Dutch Report Claims Crypto Low Risk to Financial Stability If Banks Keep Out

The Dutch government’s CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) has released a report claiming that cryptocurrencies present a low risk to financial stability in the country, writes Cointelegraph.

The report, published on 29 May, was initiated in order to establish if cryptocurrencies posed any kind of economic risk in the light of its increasing use and popularity in Holland.

Because Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies reached the news often in 2017, approximately 60% of the households in the Netherlands who invest in cryptocurrencies started doing so in 2017. In the first three quarters of 2017, there were approximately 44,000 transactions in Bitcoin from the Netherlands on a trading platform called BTC Direct, according to Statistica.

The capital Amsterdam has transformed itself into a venue for crypto meetups and currently is hosting more than 550 full nodes, around 4.7% of the total nodes in the world, showing Bitcoin’s popularity across the country. This puts Holland in the world’s top 5 by node distribution.

The report shows that although cryptocurrencies pose a low risk to the financial system at this time due to comparatively low levels of capitalization, this risk would increase with an increase of involvement by government and financial institutions in the future. The CPB also pointed out that cryptocurrencies are not “money substitutes”, that users are more likely to hold on their crypto assets than actually spend them as they would a fiat currency.

The report stressed that a balanced financial regulation, rather than introducing harsh restraints, will reduce the risk of “shadow banks” emerging – non-bank financial intermediaries that provide services similar to traditional commercial banks.

In a landmark court case this year a Dutch court ordered a defendant to pay his debt in BTC since the obligation was originally made in Bitcoin.

 

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