A little quiz to begin with: why is the Bitcoin City (in Slovenia) called so?
1. It is the largest miner of bitcoins
2. Satoshi Nakamoto lived here
3. Some other reason
The BTC City (which incorporates the Bitcoin City) is a shopping region owned by one company, whose abbreviation also happens to be BTC — which stands for the Blagovno Transportni Center, a name it acquired in 1975. Starting off as an open warehouse, it has transformed into a shopping complex occupying over 250K sq m of space.
The Bitcoin City has one main shopping complex here, the CityPark, and as expected, many smaller malls, theater, a hotel, golf course, and other entertainment facilities, and over 500 stores.
Slovenia, hardly a large country, has shot into some popularity for adopting the concept of the Bitcoin City — the name is also trademarked. The prime minster of Slovenia bought a cup of coffee with crypto at a shop here while launching a conference. That’s some way of promotion a technology or concept so intrinsically tied up with all the bad things in the world.
The Eligma website offers the following numbers — “With 21,000,000 visitors per year, over 450 stores, 70 bars and restaurants, a theatre, a Cineplex, a waterpark and many more highlights, BTC City makes for a perfect testing environment for Eligma’s solutions, which aim to impact commerce in an important way.”
Eligma, the ‘cognitive commerce’ platform — owns the Bitcoin City trademark and is co-founder of the concept, and offers the Elipay payment solutions in the Bitcoin City. Their most popular video has had only about 167K views.
About the vision of the Bitcoin city, an executive told the bitcoinmagazine:
“Bitcoin City will create an open society which will enable users to pursue their missions as well as develop their business environments in line with their wishes, needs and operating policies.”
Since the city essentially stands for the place where crypto is or will be the only currency in use, it makes sense to ask, how popular is crypto payment today? How many merchants accept crypto, especially when the price hovers around between $10–11K?
Bitcoinist supplies the answers:
A little over 14,000 merchants accept crypto, mostly spread in Europe and the US and Japan. There are over 4,000 BTC ATMs. In 2019, there have been less than 50 purchase transactions with Bitcoin.
The decline, as expected, happened post the amazing surge of BTC in December of 2017.
There are other places that aspire to become Bitcoin Cities. One is Arnhem in Holland, which is currently very ‘crypto friendly’. The other is the coastal city of Malacca or Melaka Straits City in Malaysia. This city is backed by China, and will have the DMI coin as a currency that the tourists will exchange for their fiat upon arrival. As per The Sun, the city expects to see over 3 million tourists upon completion each year.
Photo: By U5K0 — Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26576940