Poland is one of the countries in Europe where businesses and the population have invited Bitcoin among their midst with open arms. Adoption of Bitcoin in Poland is surprisingly increasing with many businesses including Bitcoin as one of the payment options. The fact that the country’s official currency, Polish zloty is the eleventh* most popular currency in Bitcoin trade is enough to understand the extent of penetration of Bitcoin in Poland.
Poland: Many Firsts in Bitcoin
Poland also has a significant number of firsts in its credit when it comes to Bitcoins. Medicover Hospital in Warsaw, run by one of the country’s healthcare providers, Medicover Group became the first hospital in Europe to accept Bitcoin from patients. The hospital treats over 8000 patients from more than 20 different countries each year and these patients can pay their hospitalization, treatment, health checkup and other miscellaneous bills with Bitcoin.
Poland was also the home of the very first Bitcoin Embassy in the world. Ambasada Bitcoin was started in Warsaw over a year ago to promote Bitcoin in Poland, to use and to build a community around it. It was shut down a few months ago, owing to some legal issues.
There have been discussions on the possibility of recognizing Bitcoin as a financial instrument under Polish law, but the idea was dropped, as Bitcoin didn’t satisfy the requirements to be met by a financial instrument in accordance with the law of the land.
Few Poland based Bitcoin business have run into trouble lately, with the banks terminating accounts of a Polish Bitcoin exchange – BitMarket. On the brighter side, T-Mobile has collaborated with InPay to allow its customers to top up their phone and data credits. In addition, Chip-Chap, a digital currency platform has collaborated with HalCash to provide access to Bitcoin over their ATM network.
By making Bitcoin easily available and increasing its volume of usage, the currency might soon gain a strong position in the country’s economy.
*Correction: I had erroneously mentioned Polish Zloty to be sixth most traded bitcoin-currency pair in the world. It has been corrected in the above article (reference)