One of the smallest countries in the EU may also have some of the biggest ambitions. Slovenia has announced that its largest shopping center — coincidentally known as BTC City — will transform into a complete bitcoin city, in which every store and venture will accept cryptocurrency and operate via blockchain technology.
The complex, located in the country’s capital of Ljubljana, stretches over 1,558,398 square feet and contains over 500 retail stores. Prime Minister Miro Cerar recently visited the shopping center, where he was treated to a cup of coffee (purchased with cryptocurrency by State Secretary Tadej Slapnik). Details regarding the center’s newfound approach to bitcoin are being headed by fintech startup Eligma.
“The purpose of his visit was to open the Beyond 4.0 international conference, dedicated to digital society and blockchain, and to get acquainted with BTC City’s strategy to become a Bitcoin City,” said BTC City representatives.
BTC City initially began in 1954 as a warehouse and logistics center. More warehouses were added to the complex over time, and, by 1990, it had transformed into a commercial shopping arena. BTC City presently plays host to several travel and tourism ventures including a luxury hotel and casino, a multiplex cinema, a waterpark and the Crystal Palace office park — home to Slovenia’s tallest building.
Executives of BTC City say they’re hoping Bitcoin City will give rise to new businesses that push the cryptocurrency space toward mainstream territory and lead to further blockchain developments.
“Bitcoin City will create an open society which will enable users to pursue their missions as well as develop their business environments in line with their wishes, needs and operating policies,” they said.
Eligma’s cryptocurrency transaction system Elipay is being installed in several stores. Situated throughout the premises are also several one-way cryptocurrency ATMs, along with the Blockchain Think Tank and what executives call the biggest crypto mining rig in Slovenia.
Representatives further commented, “The development of BTC City into a bitcoin city is an important step toward the realization of BTC’s openness-oriented strategy, providing its customers and business partners with both freedom and choices regarding their purchases with new forms of payment.”