Ireland joins others members of the cryptocommunity with the help of BitVendo, company that puts country’s first Bitcoin ATM into a Hippety’s Café in Dublin.
Not sure if BitVendo put the Lamassu Bitcoin ATM less than a hundred meters away from the Central Bank of Ireland to mock the latter or by accident. The firm’s comment, “there’s no way the Irish banks can ignore bitcoin now”, implies that it’s the first case.
Ireland and Cryptocurrencies
Of course, BitVendo is not the only player in town. Small exchanges, different services and Bitcoin enthusiast groups surfaced here and there, but the actual use of the Coin was a bit late comparing to the crypto-hysteria around the world. For example, Eircoin just these January came to the Central Bank with hopes of getting some clarity on how the digital coins are regulated and what are the legal ways of use.
BitVendo’s head of marketing, Giles Byrne tells that it was hard in the beginning to establish a Bitcoin business. The people who were selling the digital coins in Ireland did this twice the average market price and those who wanted to buy some did not have much of a choice.
All of the above is being worsened by the fact that the image of cryptocurrency that media promotes almost exclusively consists of tags “Silk Road”, drug sell, money laundering and fraud. I wouldn’t say that this negativity towards Bitcoin is something unique, not only Irish media in Byrne’s words “enjoys the glamour of crime.”
A blessing in disguise
The global financial meltdown hit Ireland hard. At that time Ireland had to borrow billions from EU comity to cover for stay afloat and these money came with some unpleasant obligations. In the end of 2013 the country quit the bailout, but the grudge people carried against the Central Bank still persists.
That alone, according to Byrne, should make people work with Bitcoin not for the future of the cryptocommunity but instead as an act of protest against banks, even though initially people thought of digital coins as invention of the banks.
First Bitcoin-bought Beer
Nonetheless, the love of beer cannot be exterminated from Irishmen and it doesn’t matter what kind of money were used in the transaction. As of this Tuesday, the first drink was bought for Bitcoin in Baggot Inn, Dublin and by the customer’s words “Freedom tastes great!”