The Future of Greece’s Cryptocurrency Market

Piyasi Mitra
Piyasi Mitra is a journalist, features writer and copy editor who has worked with The Times of India and the ABP Group, and is currently exploring content creation in the digital space.
  • It is no surprise that now more than ever, there has risen the need for another form of currency.
  • Greece is lagging behind in technological enhancement, ranking 3rd from the bottom of the list, according to the European Commission.
  • Greek Cryptocurrency Community, whose aim is to educate the Greek population on the investment opportunities in the crypto space.

As evident from news and statistics, Greece’s economy has witnessed a decline over the past few years. Debts piling up, dismally low rates of pensions, an alarming trend of unemployment-especially amongst the youth-and political turmoil has made a majority of the Greeks believe that their country’s economy has hit rock bottom.

To make matters worse, Greece’s biggest strength, tourism, has been badly hit by the pandemic. Under such circumstances, it is no surprise that now more than ever, there has risen the need for another form of currency.

In a bid to deal with otherwise untraceable cash transactions, the Greek government announced last year that it would require digital tax receipts from all of its citizens. In connection with this, a report by CoinDesk revealed that such banking measures will  affect the lower and middle class income groups who are dependent on Greek banks for day to day transactions. The richer segment will, however, be immune as most of their wealth is safe with overseas banks.

The exorbitant tax rates will result in alarming cash flow issues for the country’s middle class which relies on cash heavily, and only widen the gap between the haves and have nots. That’s where the role of cryptocurrency comes in.

But is it going to be a viable solution in the backdrop of Greece’s ever-expanding economic woes? Greece is lagging behind in technological enhancement, ranking 3rd from the bottom of the list, according to the European Commission. Considering this factor, what drove the Greeks to consider incorporating cryptocurrency in their lives?

As Greek tech entrepreneur Andreas M. Antonopoulos explains, when the Greek banks shut down in the middle of the financial crisis in 2015, the public sought a safe alternative on the internet, and that fuelled the cryptocurrency craze. Digital assets emerged as a safe haven as banks became more volatile and hence unsafe for asset storage.

Earlier this year, Bitcoin.com stated that the interest in cryptocurrency from Greek women had grown 163.67 %. Guess what? The number of Bitcoin ATMs in Greece also increased to at least five around the country.

With Greece’s unemployment rate sitting at 17 per cent and the current pandemic not likely to disappear anytime soon, many Greeks are beginning to look for alternatives to the current financial system. This growing interest in cryptocurrency has also led to the creation of social media groups on Facebook and Twitter like Bitcoin Community Greece and Greek Cryptocurrency Community, whose aim is to educate the Greek population on the investment opportunities in the crypto space.

So, what lies ahead when it comes to Greece’s crypto future? Perhaps that can be best summed up in the encouraging words of Greek MIT professor Konstantinos Daskalakis. The academic urged fellow citizens to think both globally and locally, highlighted that the country’s socio-economic dysfunctions must be overcome by embracing technology and AI.  He also observed that Bitcoin is one of the most fascinating discoveries of the 21st century, and that Blockchain “is here to stay.”

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