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This German City Is Poised To Become A European Crypto Hub

0 22

An initiative is underway in the little-known German city of Mannheim. Its goal? To use Bitcoin and blockchain technology to transform the city’s retail infrastructure, turning it into a ‘Cryptocity’ that showcases everyday applications of crypto for retailers and consumers.

The concept of ‘cryptocities’ has grown in prominence in recent years as forward-thinking developers seek to highlight the best of blockchain and crypto within existing business and retail frameworks.

Germany’s New Bitcoin-Based Cryptocity

Led by Layer-1 payment blockchain Nimiq, the cryptocity initiative has already seen 22 stores in Mannheim adopt cryptocurrency payments. These include various supermarkets, restaurants and shops, and they’re not just local businesses either: global brands like footwear giant Footlocker and fast-food titan Burger King are also on board.

In order to attract retailers to set up shop in the cryptocity, Nimiq lets merchants process payments made using digital currency, while still allowing them to receive euros in their bank accounts. This allows companies to more easily track their tax obligations, while also enabling them to avoid fluctuations in the price of digital assets.

At present, almost 6.9 million people in Germany own some form of cryptocurrency – over 8% of the population according to research conducted by Triple-A. With an estimated 20 to 30 million crypto owners in neighboring European countries, the hope for Nimiq is that Mannheim can attract the crypto-curious from miles around.

Merging with Existing Payment Infrastructure

The 22 stores currently integrated into Mannheim’s expanding cryptocity can process bitcoin payments instantly thanks to the integration of OPAGO’s point-of-sale app, which generates a QR code customers can scan to send a Bitcoin Lightning Network payment.

A primary goal of the developers behind CryptoCity Mannheim is to integrate cryptocurrency with existing payment infrastructure. To this end, the team is developing a blockchain payment scheme that allows existing retail payment terminals to recognise and accept digital currencies by default.

Clearly, Nimiq isn’t going it alone in its vision to build a futuristic cryptocity: partners in the venture include paytech firm Nexi, which boasts a large network of existing payment terminals, and Bluecode, a company that develops barcodes which can be used to process mobile-based payments at point of sale in a matter of seconds.

Cryptocities Around the World

The concept of the cryptocity has grown in prominence in recent years, with numerous such projects currently in development around the globe.

From plans to erect a cryptocity in El Salvador, to one that seeks to turn an area of the Nevada desert into a Bitcoin-based ‘smart city’, the idea of the cryptocity is one that has firmly taken root in the public consciousness.

Global music star and entrepreneur Akon is even developing a $6 billion cryptocity in Senegal that he envisions as a real-life, tech-empowered ‘Wakanda’, referencing the fictional location from the Black Panther film series. Talk about an unexpected career arc!

Thinking Ahead

Such ambitious goals aren’t as unusual as one might think. The potential for automated, tech-powered cities to drive business, innovation and, even better, living conditions is one recognized by many forward-thinking figures in blockchain and beyond.

Nimiq ultimately envisions the application of blockchain technology spreading far beyond retail stores and payment channels. The platform’s Ecosystem Development Lead Max Burger sees the potential for fully integrated ‘smart cities’ where even city administration is handled via a blockchain network.

“This is a bit more futuristic,” says Burger, adding: “For now we are focusing on retail, shopping and experiences where you can pay with cryptocurrency.”

For cryptocity advocates, the idea is to first showcase the applicability of blockchain and crypto payments – then attract merchants and customers to actually use the tech. The end goal, of course, imagines entire cities being sped up and optimized by blockchain tech, likely in concert with other bleeding-edge technologies like IoT devices and AI.

Will this vision come to pass? Who knows. We might even get hoverboards.

Disclaimer: This article is provided by the Client. The Client is solely responsible for this page’s content, quality, accuracy, products, advertising, or other materials. Readers should conduct their own research before taking any actions related to the material available on this page. The Crypto Basic is not responsible for the accuracy of info and any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by the use of or reliance on any content, goods, or services mentioned in this article.

Please note that The Crypto Basic does not endorse or support any content or product on this page. We strongly advise readers to conduct their own research before acting on any information presented here and assume full responsibility for their decisions. This article should not be considered investment advice.

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