New Store Sells Cryptocurrencies for Regular Old Cash in Croatia

A “Bitcoin store” has opened doors in Croatia. It sells bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and even issues receipts. The shop is a welcome addition to the steadily growing crypto sector in the Balkan country. The team behind the project plans to expand to all major Croatian cities and even other countries in the region.

Also read: Steps towards Self-Regulation in Croatia and Slovenia

OTC Point of Sale Now Operational in Split

The new walk-in point of sale is located in the Croatian city of Split, a famous tourist destination on the Adriatic coast. The store on Hrvatske Mornarice Street currently offers direct sales of bitcoin, ether and other altcoins, Bitfalls reports. The premium is around 5 percent on top of the average prices at Coinmarketcap. Customers are given a receipt and proof of purchase for tax reporting purposes.

Bitcoin Store is arguably the first of its kind in the country, and probably on the Balkans. Bitkonan, the Croatian crypto exchange behind the project, has plans to offer similar OTC (over the counter) solutions to residents and guests of other major cities, starting from Zagreb and Rijeka. Its team also hopes to expand in the region, depending on demand for this kind of service in neighboring countries.

The cryptocurrency sector in Croatia, including crypto trading, has seen a rapid development. Bitfalls’ own project, Coinvendor, is already processing direct purchases of digital coins through bank transfers and its services are available globally. The Bitcoin Store in Split now adds another dimension, offering cryptocurrencies for fiat cash.

Croatians Helping Their Government with Regulations

Interest towards cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and blockchain technologies has increased significantly in Croatia over the last several years. The local crypto community has grown with many new crypto companies and businesses accepting crypto payments. Bitcoin ATMs have been installed in major Croatian cities, including the capital Zagreb, the second-largest city Split, Rijeka, and Pula.

The Croatian government, however, has yet to respond adequately to the bitcoin boom and adopt a long-awaited comprehensive regulatory framework. The Croatian National Bank (HNB) has taken a conservative stance. It stated last year that cryptocurrencies are not legal means of payment under the current laws in the country. The central bank also noted that they should not be considered electronic money.

Earlier this year, blockchain businesses and crypto enthusiasts in Croatia announced intentions to “help authorities take informed decisions” about the cryptocurrency sector. The local crypto community established a new organization called Udruga za Blockchain i Kriptovalute (UBIK), or Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Association. Its main task is to channel their efforts towards adopting meaningful regulations. UBIK has already declared readiness to advise authorities on all crypto-related matters. It is also providing legal, financial, and technical support to its members.

Do you agree that over the counter bitcoin sales can bring more people into the crypto world? Tell us in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Google Maps.

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