There’s no easy way to buy, send or spend cryptocurrency in person — not even for a slice of pizza or a cup of coffee, or so it’s been said. Meanwhile, the number of physical merchant locations that accept crypto payments keeps growing.
As of late October 2019, 15,558 business venues worldwide were accepting Bitcoin as a method of payment, up 18% from a year earlier, according to Coinmap.org. The crowdsourced heatmap, devised by Satoshi Labs in 2013, draws on input from consumers and merchants.
While Europe remains the hottest continent for in-person Bitcoin transactions, the most torrid city is now Ljubljana in Slovenia, with 314 venues. Last year, Prague held that distinction.
In Prague, one can reportedly rent apartments and attend films paying in crypto. The Czech capital counts 170 venues (bars, restaurants, hotels, cinemas, and other attractions) where Bitcoin is accepted as a method of payment.
This also includes a dozen ATM’s where people are able to take out cash from digital currency accounts, and more than a dozen restaurants, cafés, and shopping venues.
Prague is home to the Bitcoin Coffee, part of the Paralelni Polis building, an experimental alternative centre launched by art group Ztohoven in the Holešovice district, which also hosts a co-working space and an “Institute of Cryptology”.
Bitcoin transaction costs have dropped dramatically over the past two years — high fees were another reason cited by Stripe for leaving the business. The average Bitcoin transaction fee reached a high of $54.90 on Dec. 21, 2017, but on Oct. 22, 2019, it was less than one hundredth that amount: $0.53 per transaction.