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How Bitcoin ATMs in Greece fare during a record-breaking tourist season

Despite record-breaking numbers this past summer tourist season, the local crypto scene in Greece sees no impact, says co-founder of local BCash Bitcoin…

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Despite record-breaking numbers this past summer tourist season, the local crypto scene in Greece sees no impact, says co-founder of local BCash Bitcoin ATMs Dimitrios Tsangalidis.

Greece is globally recognized for its touristic lures of idyllic beaches and a laid-back lifestyle. Prior to the outbreak of the global pandemic, the World Travel and Tourism Council said that tourism generated over one-fifth of Greece’s total GDP.

This year, the country faced a record number of travelers during its summer tourism season. In the month of August alone, the country received nearly 1 million travel arrivals per week, according to the Greek Minister of Tourism Vassilis Kikilias.

A report from ForwardKeys on this year’s summer tourism revealed that, of the top ten “sun and beach” locations in Europe, Greece held six spaces. These included the island destinations of Mykonos, Thira (Santorini) and Heraklion (Crete), as well as Thessaloniki. Athens, the country’s capital, took third place for “urban” destinations in Europe.

In the 27 European Union member states, Greece takes the sixth spot in terms of cryptocurrency ATMs, with 64 active for usage. Over half of Greece’s crypto ATMs are shared between Athens and Thessaloniki.

However, the Bitcoin ATM operator BCash strategically placed some of its ATMs in the country’s trendy island destinations of Mykonos, Santorini and Crete. Cointelegraph spoke with the managing director and co-founder of BCash, Dimitrios Tsangalidis, on how crypto is impacted by or itself impacts the tourism season in Greece.

Although Mykonos and Santorini are the most visited tourist destinations, the mainland ATMs have the majority of traffic, according to Tsangalidis — especially central Athens, where the first ATM was installed, and Thessaloniki.

However, the co-founder noted that in Crete, the country’s most populated island and a popular tourist destination, there is a "very loyal cryptocurrency crowd."

“There is a strong crypto community in Heraklion of Crete [which is] the location of one of our ATMs."

In Heraklion, the capital of Crete, the local start-up accelerator H2B Hub made a collaboration with the Greek-speaking University of Nicosia to create and support a local blockchain community.

Both Athens and Thessaloniki have active, regular meetups for the crypto and blockchain community.

While tourism bolsters parts of the Greek economy, according to Tsangalidis, it doesn’t translate to the crypto scene. “Unfortunately, the absolute opposite happens,” says Tsangalidis. 

“In summer months and high tourist seasons, the demand drops. But we are in the middle of crypto winter that came earlier this year, so it is really hard to tell."

Especially in terms of regular traffic, the decrease can also be equated to locals leaving for vacation.

Related: Tourists flock to El Salvador despite Bitcoin bear market

In general, Greece needs more awareness of cryptocurrencies and their utility in everyday life,  Tsangalidis sums up.

“Influence on local tourism can be noticeable only if there is a general adoption of cryptocurrency within society.”

He adds that for now, there is little to no infrastructure or adoption from the level of Greek businesses and local governments. “If our government will become crypto friendly and if a green light will be given to businesses, then adoption will follow.”

In May of this year, the president of the Greek National Tourism Organization, Angela Gerekou, said the country is currently exploring how blockchain technology can bring about safety and transparency in tourism.

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Next Bitcoin bull run to be half story, half utility — Mike Novogratz at Token2049

The next Bitcoin rally will require fast and scalable systems, which the community has yet to build, says Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz.

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The next Bitcoin rally will require fast and scalable systems, which the community has yet to build, says Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz.

The next Bitcoin (BTC) bull run will have to be much different from historical cryptocurrency rallies in terms of story and utility, Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz believes.

Compared with previous bull runs, the next Bitcoin rally will have to be more focused on utility and less on the story, Novogratz predicted during a panel at the Token2049 crypto event on Sept. 28.

The Bitcoin bull run of 2017, one of the biggest historical rallies, was mostly about the story, the CEO said, referring to the cryptocurrency’s run from about $1,000 to $20,000 within one year.

According to Novogratz, the 2017 bull run was primarily about the story of people not trusting the government and wanting more privacy and decentralization. “It was a Gen Z, millennial revolution, and it was global. That’s a powerful story,” the CEO noted.

Bitcoin hitting all-time highs above $69,000 in November 2021, another big rally, was “really generated” by the COVID-19 pandemic, Novogratz said. He suggested that the price action in 2020 and 2021 was “probably 80% story and 20% utility,” referring to the growing utility use case of digitalization amid the pandemic.

Mike Novogratz and Bloomberg's Haslinda Amin at Token2049. Source: Cointelegraph

“Ethereum and all the other level ones started really accelerating the work to build a shared blockchain that we could build companies on top of,” Novogratz stated.

In contrast to the aforementioned cryptocurrency bull runs, the next Bitcoin rally will have to be “50% story, 50% utility,” Novogratz predicted, stating:

“It’s people building applications, people building systems a) that are fast and scalable and b) that are user-friendly. We don’t have them yet — that’s why we’re where we are. But in the next few years, they’re coming.”

During the panel, Novogratz also revved up the audience with his bullish prediction of the “inevitability” that crypto will succeed.

“The word ‘inevitable’ keeps coming up. There’s a sense of inevitability that we’re in the right space, inevitable that Bitcoin will have its day,” Novogratz stated. He also expressed confidence that Web3 and nonfungible tokens will be a big part of the gaming space in the future.

Related: Bitcoin analyst who called 2018 bottom warns 'bad winter' may see $10K BTC

Additionally, the CEO noted that despite the ongoing cryptocurrency winter, Bitcoin has still performed better than a basket of various fiat currencies this year. “If you look at Bitcoin versus a basket of currencies, it’s done about 20% better than versus the dollar,” Novogratz noted.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Novogratz has made some successful predictions about Bitcoin. Back in 2020, Novogratz predicted that Bitcoin would end the year above $20,000, which turned out to be an understatement, with Bitcoin nearing the $30,000 price mark by the end of 2020.

Additional reporting by Andrew Fenton.

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Druckenmiller: “We Are In Deep Trouble… I Don’t Rule Out Something Really Bad”

Druckenmiller: "We Are In Deep Trouble… I Don’t Rule Out Something Really Bad"

For once, billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller did…

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Druckenmiller: "We Are In Deep Trouble... I Don't Rule Out Something Really Bad"

For once, billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller did not say anything even remotely controversial when he echoed what we (and Morgan Stanley) have been warning for a long time, and said the Fed's attempt to quickly unwind the excesses it itself built up over the past 13 years with its ultra easy monetary policy will end in tears for the U.S. economy.

“Our central case is a hard landing by the end of ’23,” Druckenmiller said at CNBC’s Delivering Alpha Investor Summit in New York City Wednesday. “I would be stunned if we don’t have recession in ’23. I don’t know the timing but certainly by the end of ’23. I will not be surprised if it’s not larger than the so called average garden variety.”

And the legendary investor, who has never had a down year in the markets, fears it could be something even worse. “I don’t rule out something really bad,” he said effectively repeating what we said in April that "Every Fed Hiking Cycle Ends With Default And Bankruptcy Of Governments, Banks And Investors" "

He pointed to massive global quantitative easing that reached $30 trillion as what’s driving the looming recession: “Our central case is a hard landing by the end of next year", he said, adding that we have also had a bunch of myopic policies such as the Treasury running down the savings account, and Biden's irresponsible oil SPR drain.

Repeating something else even the rather slow "transitory bros" and "team MMT" know by now, Druckenmiller said he believes the extraordinary quantitative easing and zero interest rates over the past decade created an asset bubble.

“All those factors that cause a bull market, they’re not only stopping, they’re reversing every one of them,” Druckenmiller said. “We are in deep trouble.”

The Fed is now in the middle of its most aggressive pace of tightening since the 1980s. The central bank last week raised rates by three-quarters of a percentage point for a third straight time and pledged more hikes to beat inflation, triggering a big sell-off in risk assets. The S&P 500 has taken out its June low and reached a new bear market low Tuesday following a six-day losing streak.

Druckenmiller said the Fed made a policy error - as did we... repeatedly... last summer - when it came up with a “ridiculous theory of transitory,” thinking inflation was driven by supply chain and demand factors largely associated with the pandemic.

“When you make a mistake, you got to admit you’re wrong and move on that nine or 10 months, that they just sat there and bought $120 billion in bonds,” Druckenmiller said. “I think the repercussions of that are going to be with us for a long, long time.”

“You don’t even need to talk about Black Swans to be worried here. To me, the risk reward of owning assets doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Druckenmiller said.

Commenting on recent events, Druck was more upbeat, saying “I like everything I’m hearing out of the Fed and I hope they finish the job,” he said. Now, the tightening has to go all the way. “You have to slay the dragon.” The problem is that, as the BOE demonstrated with its QT to QE pivot today, it's impossible to slay the dragon and sooner or later every central banks fails.

What happens then? According to Druck, once people lose trust in central banks - which at this rate could happen in a few weeks or tomorrow - he expects a cryptocurrency renaissance, something which may already be starting...

... and not just there, but in the original crypto - gold - as well...

Excerpts from his interview below:

Tyler Durden Wed, 09/28/2022 - 12:26

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Next Bitcoin bull run to be half story, half utility: Mike Novogratz at Token2049

The next Bitcoin rally will require fast and scalable systems, which the community is yet to build, Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz.

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The next Bitcoin rally will require fast and scalable systems, which the community is yet to build, Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz.

The next Bitcoin (BTC) bull run will have to be much different from historical cryptocurrency rallies in terms of story and utility, Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz believes.

Compared to previous bull runs, the next Bitcoin rally will have to be more focused on utility and less on the story, Novogratz predicted at a panel at the Token2049 crypto event on Wednesday.

One of the biggest historical rallies, the Bitcoin bull run of 2017, was mostly about the story, the CEO said, referring to the cryptocurrency’s run from about $1,000 to $20,000 within one year.

According to Novogratz, the 2017 bull run was mostly about the story of people not trusting the government and wanting more privacy and decentralization. “It was a Gen Z millennial revolution. And it was global. That's a powerful story,” the CEO noted.

Another big rally, with Bitcoin hitting all-time highs above $69,000 in November 2021, was “really generated” by the COVID-19 pandemic, Novogratz said. He suggested that the price action in 2020 and 2021 was “probably 80% of the story and 20% of utility,” referring to the growing utility use case of digitalization amid the pandemic.

Mike Novogratz and Bloomberg's Haslinda Amin at Token2049. Source: Cointelegraph

“It's theory and all the other level ones started really accelerating the work to build a shared blockchain that we could build companies on top of,” Novogratz stated.

In contrast to the mentioned cryptocurrency bull runs, the next Bitcoin rally will have to be “50% story, 50% utility,” Novogratz predicted, stating:

“I see it's people building applications, people building systems that are fast and scalable and that are user friendly. We don't have them yet. That's why we're where we are. But in the next few years, they're coming.”

During the panel, Novogratz also revved up the audience with his bullish prediction of the “inevitability” that crypto will succeed.

“The word inevitable keeps coming up. There’s a sense of inevitability that we're in the right space, inevitable that Bitcoin will have its day,” Novogratz stated. He also expressed confidence that Web3 and nonfungible tokens will be a big part of the gaming space in the future.

Related: Bitcoin analyst who called 2018 bottom warns 'bad winter' may see $10K BTC

Additionally, the CEO noted that despite the ongoing cryptocurrency winter, Bitcoin has still performed better than a basket of various fiat currencies this year. “If you look at Bitcoin versus a basket of currencies, it's done about 20% better than versus the dollar,” Novogratz noted.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Novogratz has made some successful predictions about Bitcoin. Back in 2020, Novogratz predicted that Bitcoin would end the year above $20,000, which turned out to be an understatement, with Bitcoin nearing the $30,000 price mark by the end of 2020.

Additional reporting by Andrew Fenton.

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