Major European retailer Alza has begun accepting Bitcoin and installing Bitcoin ATMs in its outlets in Prague and Bratislava.

According to Czech news outlet Lupa, Alza is facilitating Bitcoin payments online throughout its international empire, which also includes Austria, Germany and the UK.

The publication further quotes a spokesman who stated the move is due to interest from both international and domestic customers.

“Prague is already one of Bitcoin's most important centers in Europe today. By introducing trading in bitcoins, we are supporting the growing popularity of this form of payment and the potential of new technology,” Jan Sadílek, Alza’s head of internet marketing, continued.

The implementation occurred with the help of merchant payment gateway BitcoinPay.

Sadílek, meanwhile, added that Bitcoin was only the first step in Alza’s relationship with cryptocurrency, with altcoins such as Ethereum or Litecoin potentially coming next.

"Alza sells a variety of goods ranging from jewelry and watches to electronics, including Bitcoin apparatus such as hardware wallets."

The instructions for Bitcoin payment include a proviso that any refunds will be issued in fiat currency, with Bitcoin returns currently unavailable.

Alza forms the first major Bitcoin acceptance announcement to come from Europe in a while, contrasting with markets such as Japan, where a major initiative is underway to bring the virtual currency to thousands of retailers.

Last week, a smaller project announced plans to bring Bitcoin and Dash support to up to 80 percent of Ukraine’s retail terminals.