The adoption of virtual currency has been riding high in Eastern and Central Europe with Croatia and Slovenia seeing waves of use-cases. Several retail stores are integrating crypto-centric payments applications within their services, and offering a variety of support coins.
Elipay, the crypto-payments applications on iOS and Android, spearheaded by Eligma has seen waves of increased adoption. The application supports Bitcoin [BTC], Bitcoin Cash [BCH], Ethereum [ETH] and its native token ELI.
The hotbed for the Elipay integration is Bitcoin City, a 475,000 meter-squared commercial shopping complex in the heard of Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Several stores within the “city” have integrated the crypto-payments application and its supported coins.
Dejan Roljic, the CEO of Eligma, said that their service is integrated in 300 locations, with one-third of them located in Bitcoin city solely. He hailed the Bitcoin city project as “the result of infusing one of Central Europe’s largest and most important commercial, shopping and logistic areas.”
Elipay has entered several industries within its existence, making its mark in food and drinks, fashion, electronics, sports, toys, auto, travel and others. They have even joined forces with a taxi service, with the fare to be paid in cryptocurrencies.
Roljic added that Slovenia’s central bank, Eligma, has also been in contact with Slovenia’s central bank for the inclusion of the euro within its services. He added:
“In addition to the use of crypto for shopping with the Elipay system, the Bank of Slovenia has also approved euro value to be added into Elipay by means of credit / debit cards and SEPA.”
Moving southwards, the company has looked to expand to Croatia, with the CEO confirming that Elipay has been granted permission to “legally operate” within Croatia. He added that in order for the system to be localized it will take a few days as integrations with local merchants and service providers have to be completed.
Looking beyond Croatia and Slovenia, Roljic stated that further expansion will only be sought once the Croatian model is successful.
Recently, an association of blockchain and crypto-enthusiasts called Udruga za Blockchain i Kriptovaluate [UBIK] was initiated in Croatia. This association will primarily advise regulators on crypto-trading and crypto-payments within Croatia. Additionally, UBIK will also assist its members with legal, technical, and financial support to allow ease of regulatory pressure.
Europe has seen a wave of regulatory development with blockchain and crypto-centric associations of-late. With the creation of the International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications [INATBA] policy-makers, regulators and civil stand setting organizations can work closely with leading DLT companies. A host of prominent crypto-companies are founding members of the association, including Ripple, Ledger, R3, IBM, Swift, Cardano, Accenture and more.
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Fall in Bitcoin’s market dominance may be correlated to the fortunes of the altcoin market
The trends set by virtual assets have always highlighted the cryptocurrency market’s inherent volatility and spontaneity. Prices lack symmetry and rarely exhibit consistent growth as different factors come into play to dictate an asset’s valuation.
At press time, the world’s largest crypto, Bitcoin, had stormed past the $11,000 mark and was consolidating to push for a surge over $12,000. The rest of the altcoin market however, apart from one or two minor hikes here and there, has been relatively quiet after collectively surging in the early part of the year.
At the beginning of 2019, a significant number of crypto-assets performed significantly well in a group, wherein most assets demonstrated a prominent hike in their values with little to minor price corrections.
A majority of tokens doubled their valuation until Bitcoin breached the $6,600 resistance. Subsequently, altcoins failed to keep pace as Bitcoin continued to test more resistance limits in the market.
At present time, Bitcoin enjoyed an unprecedented 62 percent dominance in the cryptocurrency market. As its dominance primes itself to climb over the 63 percent mark, many in the community speculate this could be red flags for the altcoin market.
Major cryptocurrency enthusiasts and analysts have stated that altcoins could significantly capitulate if it so happens. However, past events offer a sliver of hope for the altcoin market.
According to CoinMarketCap, the altcoin market has been significantly affected whenever BTC’s dominance has fallen. During the bull run of 2017, Bitcoin enjoyed a dominance of 65 percent and the global market cap hit a value of $402 billion. However, in January 2018, when BTC dominance plummeted, the global market cap peaked at around $710 billion. The dominance was down by half, whereas the global market cap had almost doubled.
A major reason for the same was money funneling into other altcoins after witnessing a shift in momentum from Bitcoin to the rest of the crypto-market. The present market situation may take a similar path once BTC’s dominance falls, opening the door for other virtual assets to take advantage of the scenario.
However, the present rise of BTC is backed by much more certainty than the bull run of 2017. Hence, a repeat of the January 2018 period may be unlikely, and will happen if and only the market sentiment shifts gears drastically towards altcoins.
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