The adoption of virtual currency has been riding high in Eastern and Central Europe with Croatia and Slovenia seeing waves of use-cases. Several retail stores are integrating crypto-centric payments applications within their services, and offering a variety of support coins.
Elipay, the crypto-payments applications on iOS and Android, spearheaded by Eligma has seen waves of increased adoption. The application supports Bitcoin [BTC], Bitcoin Cash [BCH], Ethereum [ETH] and its native token ELI.
The hotbed for the Elipay integration is Bitcoin City, a 475,000 meter-squared commercial shopping complex in the heard of Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Several stores within the “city” have integrated the crypto-payments application and its supported coins.
Dejan Roljic, the CEO of Eligma, said that their service is integrated in 300 locations, with one-third of them located in Bitcoin city solely. He hailed the Bitcoin city project as “the result of infusing one of Central Europe’s largest and most important commercial, shopping and logistic areas.”
Elipay has entered several industries within its existence, making its mark in food and drinks, fashion, electronics, sports, toys, auto, travel and others. They have even joined forces with a taxi service, with the fare to be paid in cryptocurrencies.
Roljic added that Slovenia’s central bank, Eligma, has also been in contact with Slovenia’s central bank for the inclusion of the euro within its services. He added:
“In addition to the use of crypto for shopping with the Elipay system, the Bank of Slovenia has also approved euro value to be added into Elipay by means of credit / debit cards and SEPA.”
Moving southwards, the company has looked to expand to Croatia, with the CEO confirming that Elipay has been granted permission to “legally operate” within Croatia. He added that in order for the system to be localized it will take a few days as integrations with local merchants and service providers have to be completed.
Looking beyond Croatia and Slovenia, Roljic stated that further expansion will only be sought once the Croatian model is successful.
Recently, an association of blockchain and crypto-enthusiasts called Udruga za Blockchain i Kriptovaluate [UBIK] was initiated in Croatia. This association will primarily advise regulators on crypto-trading and crypto-payments within Croatia. Additionally, UBIK will also assist its members with legal, technical, and financial support to allow ease of regulatory pressure.
Europe has seen a wave of regulatory development with blockchain and crypto-centric associations of-late. With the creation of the International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications [INATBA] policy-makers, regulators and civil stand setting organizations can work closely with leading DLT companies. A host of prominent crypto-companies are founding members of the association, including Ripple, Ledger, R3, IBM, Swift, Cardano, Accenture and more.
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