Redditors worldwide have suddenly become engaged in a new battle amongst themselves to highlight merchants accepting bitcoin in their native land. Dozens of users are posting pictures of local outlets accepting bitcoin as a payment method, all to prove that their region is still ahead in terms of adoption of the largest and most popular cryptocurrency.
How it All Started
The entire drama first began when a user uploaded an image to the bitcoin subreddit. The post, titled “First signs of bitcoin going mainstream (on the main street in Romania’s capital city Bucharest),” showed a local shop in Bucharest accepting the cryptocurrency as a payment method.
Within no time at all, the image motivated several other Reddit users to make similar posts, presumably to prove that their hometown is not far behind regarding bitcoin adoption. Users from far and wide began to publish photos of merchants in their local vicinity and city accepting bitcoin.
One or two responses later, it was clear that the entire subreddit was engaged in a patriotic battle. Next, another user posted a picture of a local bitcoin shop itself in Vienna, Austria, clearly showing the windows of the shop embossed with the bitcoin logo. On one of the walls inside, the word Nakamoto was also inscribed in bold. Nakamoto on the walls of the outlet is a clear reference to bitcoin’s anonymous founder pseudo named as Satoshi Nakamoto.
Bitcoin Acceptance in Remote Regions
It is commonly believed that bitcoin adoption is higher in cities with better infrastructure and literacy rates. Unhappy with this conclusion, a user posted an image of a club accepting bitcoin in the forests of Laos. Another image from Bali, Indonesia also highlighted how bitcoin was being adopted in Asian countries with negligible trading volume.
The Stance of Government and Regulators on Bitcoin
Bitcoin as a payment option and alternate currency has been a topic of great contention between governments, regulators and the overall cryptocurrency community at large. Most governments allege that bitcoin’s utility only lies in transactions of illegal nature. The cryptocurrency community, on the other hand, continues to hold its ground, stating that fiat currency is also vulnerable to the same pitfalls, making decentralized alternatives a more viable option.
Even nearly a decade after bitcoin’s release, these are still early days for cryptocurrency adoption. Given that blockchain technology has also shot up in popularity, regulators are treading with caution to prevent a poorly timed regulation from doing more harm than good.
Countries Leading the World in Cryptocurrency Adoption
Canada has been at the forefront of freely allowing local merchants to accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies under some regulations, even if local banks are less than enthusiastic about it. A rather large percentage of pictures posted on Reddit was also of local Canadian outlets accepting bitcoin. Interestingly though, even though Japan was one of the first countries to openly embrace digital currencies, it was largely absent on the subreddit, presumably because of Reddit’s demographic skews towards the western world more.