Greek Crisis Has People Turning To Bitcoin

Greek protesters, one waving a national flag, gather in Athens, Wednesday, June 15, 2011. Hundreds of protesters clashed with riot police in central Athens Wednesday as a major anti-austerity rally degenerated into violence outside Parliament, where the struggling government was to seek support for new cutbacks to avoid a disastrous default. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis)

Greece has halted all Internet payment transactions that uses the Greek debit or credit cards. This is the latest move the country’s banks have taken in response to the continuing financial crisis. Earlier, Greece had imposed a $57/60 euro daily withdrawal limit and closed all the banks in the country.

As the Greek crisis rages, the concern is that Greece will stop using the Euro for its currency. Due to the tight restrictions amidst the crisis, many Greeks have turned their attention to Bitcoin to protect their savings.

Bitcoin’s value has increased more than 16 percent since the beginning of June. Exchanges operators said the trading volume has significantly increased since the Greek crisis took shape.

No surprise as Greek credit and debit cards tied to online international stores are blocked. People who visit the Greek iTunes page are given the message “Payment is declined” when they try downloading a free or paid app and are told they need to update their payment method. A similar message is received when the card used doesn’t have money or is expired.

This means Greek cards are unable to be used for Amazon or other e-retailer purchases that used to serve Greek customers. They are also some restrictions for PayPal payments. But, people with Greek iTunes accounts located out of country can continue to use the service and use PayPal to transfer money.

Bitcoin is not like the traditional currencies as it doesn’t have a central bank. It uses an algorithm that hands out currency to bitcoin miners in anticipated intervals. Bitcoin miners are power uses who uphold the blockchain, which is a joint record of verified transactions.

Digital coins can be transferred by marking the extra transactions to Blockchain or storing it on a cell phone or hard drive in a cryptographic wallet without the use of services of MoneyGram or Western Union or traditional banks

According to Bitcurex, which is based in Poland, it’s got a score of emails from Greeks regarding Bitcoin and its validity in Europe and how it can be used. Bitcon can’t be used to purchase groceries or for medical care, but Bitcoin’s decentralized digital nature makes it such a worthwhile option for people who need a short-term solution for their money. Bitcurex has also gone ahead and waived the transaction fees for Greek citizens.

Since the Greek crisis took shape, bitcoin prices have risen to $250 per coin. Although still way down from the $1,000 per coin in 2014, it’s anyone’s guess what will happen to it after the Sunday vote.




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