Bitcoin is enjoying ‘explosive’ growth in Europe, according to merchant payment processor for the digital currency BitPay, which reports that it has signed up more than 2,500 merchants in the past three months to bring the number of European merchants to over 11,000.
BitPay is also moving to larger premises in Amsterdam to meet demand. The company’s new European headquarters is located at Herengracht 458 in the Dutch city’s Golden Bend. The 17th century building complex was formerly housed Deutsche Bank and similar trust and banking companies.
“In May when we first opened the office, we were adding about 200 merchants monthly, and for the month of August we added 1,100 new merchants in Europe,” said Moe Levin, director of European business development for BitPay.
“Europeans are familiar with multiple currencies and are at the forefront of mobile technology adoption, so it’s easy to see why Bitcoin is popular and widely-used.”
BitPay reports that European merchants have processed more than 28m euros this year in Bitcoin payments compared to 1.4m euros for the same months in 2013, representing 1900% year-on-year (YoY) growth. The countries in Europe with the highest adoption rates are the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.
BitPay itself has grown to 75 full-time employees with five offices in Atlanta, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, and St. Petersburg. The company has raised over US$32m in funding from investors including Index Ventures, Founders Fund and Sir Richard Branson.
Data from Swift’s latest RMB tracker shows exceptional growth in RMB adoption in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), witnessing a 210.8% growth in payments value of the currency since August 2014, albeit from a low base.
Sentiment in the financial services sector deteriorated in the three months to September, as firms digested the challenges of lower interest rates and the uncertainty caused by the vote to leave the European Union (EU), according to the latest CBI/PwC Financial Services Survey.
However, a London summit on the industry’s introduction of the technology cautions that testing and acceptance are still at an early stage and firms should proceed with caution.
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