02:11 GMT +317 June 2019
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    This picture taken on June 20, 2014, shows a man placing his phone next to a Bitcoins (virtual currency) dispenser at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris.

    Bitcoin ATMs to Hit Greece as Trust in Banks Disappears

    © AFP 2019 / Stephane De Sakutin
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    The drachma drama may be over and the Brussels bailout agreed – but businesses in Greece are looking for alternative currency models. More than 1,000 ATMs are set to spring up in the country as trust in the banking system is disappearing.

    And bitcoin, the so-called 'crypto-currency' could be the solution. According to Coin Telegraph, BTCGreece, the first bitcoin exchange in Greece, plans to install 1,000 bitcoin machines in partnership with bitcoin platform, Cubits.

    Strict capital controls have been in place in Greece since June, leaving people and businesses unable to withdraw more than $66 (60 euros) a day and banned from transferring money to foreign bank accounts. This has led to more people viewing Bitcoin as a viable alternative.

    "We are creating the ecosystem of bitcoin and blockchain solutions in the Greek market," BTCGreece founder Thanos Marinos told CoinTelegraph.

    "That will include the roll out of 1,000 ATMs and solutions for the e-commerce and tourism industry."

    As part of the bailout package, Greece agreed to increase Value Added Tax (VAT) from 13 to 23 percent, leaving retailers no choice but to pass on the increase to the customer — and the customer forced to pay more for goods.

    But when it comes to bitcoin, the European Court of Justice recently ruled that the digital currency was not a 'taxable event' in the eyes of VAT. 

    This could be why the installation of 1,000 ATMs in Greece is seen as a popular move, while the traditional banking system relies on its bailout from Brussels.

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    Tags:
    cash, Greek crisis, banks, goods, Greek debt, market, bailout program, business, Bitcoin, European Court of Justice, European Union, Europe, Greece
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