Jim Hickey’s American Politics

Let's Get Real.

As The Economy Of Greece Implodes, Citizens Turn To An Unlikely Currency

File this one under “You know your country’s economy is in trouble when…” …your citizens turn to BitCoin. That’s right, frantic Greeks are cashing out of their national currency and trying to convert it into BitCoin, the notoriously flaky “hacker” currency that’s been associated more with international drug trade routes on Silk Road than a stable national currency. But as Greece’s economy folds in a hail of unpayable debt, banks are closing and Greeks are panicking.

The Greek Government Debt Crisis has been an ongoing problem almost baffling in its apparent lack of resolution. Triggered by the turn-of-the-decade Great Recession, the Greek economy has been hovering on the brink of disaster while almost everything attempted to fix it seems to have made it worse. While the rest of the world has recovered more or less from the global financial dip, Greece seems permanently sunk, hampered by everything from government corruption to debt that exceeds the GDP.

As for transferring to BitCoin, even that process might not go smoothly said Kevin Seawright. The entire nation of Greece can count exactly one BitCoin ATM location, and Greeks have to turn to BitCoin dealers in Germany and even China to meet the demand – which is easier said than done, since Greek banks are shutting down faster than the money can be drawn out. And even if that hurdle’s crossed, BitCoin has been at best a niche / hobbyist currency, capable of supporting a few diehard Libertarians around the world. Nobody knows what could happen to the system when a nation of eleven million people try to climb on board.

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