Croatian Retail Giant Sees Rise in Crypto Payments Despite Bear Market

Payments in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) have increased this year at Croatia’s largest supermarket chain, Konzum, despite the ongoing bear market.

After launching crypto payments in 2021, Konzum has seen an upward trend for this type of payment, the company’s director of business applications, Ines Barbir, told Cointelegraph.

Konzum officially started accepting cryptocurrencies as payment for its products in December 2021, allowing customers to pay online with nine cryptocurrencies like BTC and Ether (ETH) as well as Tether (USDT) and USD Coin ( USDC).

The supermarket chain has since expanded the crypto payment option to several ATMs in physical pilot stores. Konzum is also still working with local crypto payment company Electrocoin to bring crypto payments to 700 physical stores across Croatia.

According to Barbir, the rollout of the new payment method has been successfully implemented and Konzum is actively working on expanding its crypto payment option. The executive did not specify the exact number of growth in payment volume since the start of crypto payments.

A company spokesperson pointed out that the increase in crypto payments on Konzum corresponds with the growing adoption of crypto in Croatia, stating:

“Regardless of the bear market, we are pleased with the growing interest. General interest in cryptocurrency payments continues to grow steadily, as well as interest in implementing cryptocurrency payments in Croatia.

The representative noted that Croatia is “at the top of the European Union” when it comes to the level of crypto adoption. This is “in part thanks to the rise of fintech companies like our partners at Electrocoin,” the spokesperson added.

The rep still mentioned some uncertainty around crypto payments, saying, “The reason for this is mainly due to insecurity and suspicion in new technologies, but also the state of industry regulation. of cryptography”.

Related: European banking regulator sees ‘major concern’ in retaining staff to handle crypto: report

The Croatian government has remained somewhat silent on cryptocurrency regulation in recent years, while local crypto advocates have worked towards self-regulation. In 2018, the National Bank of Croatia pointed out that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in the country, nor are they recognized as foreign currencies or payment instruments.

Despite a certain level of apparent uncertainty around crypto, Croatia has emerged as one of the most crypto-prepared countries in the world. According to a report by forex education platform Forex Suggest, Croatia has a crypto readiness score of 6.2 out of 10, alongside countries like the United Arab Emirates, Georgia, and Romania.