On Sunday, Bitcoin enthusiast and voluntaryist blogger Joseph Young made the case that the Netherlands is one of Europe’s leaders within the Bitcoin economy.
“As one of the leaders of the Bitcoin industry in Europe, the Netherlands set up a very active Bitcoin community, with more than 5,000 local business and 10,000 online merchants accepting Bitcoins,” he wrote. “If countries like Netherlands gradually change their payment systems to Bitcoin, we will never have to touch fiat money ever again.”
“If countries like Netherlands gradually change their payment systems to Bitcoin, we will never have to touch fiat money ever again.”
We mostly agree with Young’s argument, although a few other European countries deserve attention, too.
For instance, according to a June 6 story on Business Insider, Danes and Swedes download Bitcoin software at a far higher rate than any other European residents.
Still, the Netherlands ranks No. 6 worldwide in terms of absolute number of Bitcoin nodes, according to BitNodes.io, and it ranks No. 2 in terms of per-capita distribution (behind Iceland).
The 10,000-plus Bitcoin merchants in the Netherlands, according to Young, represent significant levels of adoption. Just going through our own archives, a few Dutch stories stand out:
- Dutch food delivery services adopts Bitcoin (Nov. 2013)
- Several alternative currencies thriving in the Netherlands (Jan. 2014)
- BitPay sets up an office in Amsterdam (April 2014)
- Amsterdam gets a Bitcoin ATM (April 2014)
- Bitcoin City is Shaping up in Arnhem, Netherlands (May 2014)
- Amsterdam Bitcoin2014: Day 1, Day 2, Photo Report 1, Photo Report 2 (May 2014)
So, yes, we have to agree with Young’s statement that the Netherlands is one of the leaders in Europe’s Bitcoin economy, though Scandinavia, Luxembourg and possibly Poland have per-capita numbers indicating strong individual adoption of Bitcoin.
Germany, France and the UK, by virtue of their large populations, also collectively account for 17% of the world’s Bitcoin nodes, but with comparatively lower per-capita adoption numbers, that might not mean much to a border-agnostic currency.
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