The city of Kranj, Slovenia has unveiled a statue in the shape of a Bitcoin logo. It sits at the centre of a roundabout in the heart of the city. It was paid for by Slovenian cryptocurrency exchange, BitStamp, and technology company 3fs.
Slovenia Leads a Reluctant Europe in BTC Adoption
According to Andrej Trček’s blog, the statue has been created by artists Aleksander Frančeškin and Selman Čorović. Meanwhile, Twitter user Collin Crypto declared the artwork as the first example example of a “blockchain monument”.
The first #blockchain monument in the world will be uncovered tomorrow in Kranj, Slovenia. Sponsored by local @Bitstamp and @3fs. #Bitcoin #crypto
via @jurepirc pic.twitter.com/OCOJwwpwBt
— Collin Crypto (@CollinCrypto) March 12, 2018
It is hardly surprising that the tiny European nation have allowed such a strong visual homage to the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. Slovenia have been ahead of their neighbouring countries for several years in terms of cryptocurrency adoption.
Their domestic exchange, BitStamp, was founded way back in 2011 as a European alternative to the dominant US-based Mt. Gox which famously collapsed in 2014. In addition, Slovenia is home to 10 Bitcoin ATMs according to CoinATMradar. Whilst this is by no means the largest number of Bitcoin ATMs on the continent, it is impressive considering the population of Slovenia is only around 2.08 million.
Despite Slovenia’s embrace of Bitcoin, Europe generally lags behind the rest of the world in terms of adoption. Apart from a few small enclaves of cryptocurrency usage on the continent – Switzerland, Slovenia, and Berlin, to name a few – adoption remains low. A look at the breakdown of Bitcoin trading volume by currency shows that they are seriously behind both the US and Asia. Europe has just 4.31% of global BTC trading volume. Meanwhile, the US and Japan sit at 24.81% and 51.11% respectively. These figures come courtesy of CryptoCompare.
Hopefully developments like the Kranj Bitcoin monument will help to increase public awareness of Bitcoin in Europe. This should then lead to greater adoption as greater numbers realise that pending cryptocurrency revolution is neither a passing fad or elaborate ponzi scheme as declared by the likes of Diane Abbott, the UK Home Secretary.
Whilst far from leaders in terms of cryptocurrency adoption, Europeans are something of trendsetters in the world of Bitcoin art. Along with the Slovenian statue unveiled recently, a giant mural appeared on the side of a block of Parisian apartments in February. It depicts the death of fiat money and the rise of Bitcoin. It appears to be the work of Paris-born street artist Ludo.
Meanwhile, the European Commission remains reluctant to regulate the cryptocurrency space. This is likely due to the fact that adoption is so low across the continent. The head of the Commission’s fintech task force, Peter Kerstens, claims that it is not an urgent matter since the majority of the market is based outside of Europe. He told a conference organised by EURACTIV recently:
“We should think of what are the risks in order to know what should be regulated.”