Despite many improvements made over the past year in regards to handling Bitcoin transactions, the European Union still seems to be struggling to fully accept the idea of a global digital cryptocurrency. Of course, the European Union is not a monolith, specific regions appear to have accepted the digital currency much quicker than others. Central Europe, for instance, has passed many regulations that have helped to entice merchants to adopt Bitcoin into their practices. By contrast though, areas like Scandinavia haven’t really picked up on the benefits of a digital currency yet.
The Benefits of a Single Currency
Despite much of the progress made by the European Union over the past several years, there are still some things that are holding it back. Some countries have still resisted adopting a single currency, making travel between regions more difficult than it should be. It’s hoped that once more people begin to adopt Bitcoin though, this issue will become a thing of the past. Bitcoin benefits from not only being a universal currency option, but also one that is resistant to the economies of the European Union’s member nations.
Problems in France and Scandinavia
France was one of the earliest adopters of Bitcoin in France, but that enthusiasm has waned considerably since its first introduction. In fact, there are some disconcerting plans put forth by presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen, who wishes to remove Bitcoin from the country altogether.
In addition, Scandinavia has proven quite difficult for Bitcoin’s expansions. Since there is little to no news involving Bitcoin throughout the region, it can be difficult to pinpoint what the exact problems are. Scandinavia has historically been somewhat independent from the rest of Europe, so it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that the area has resisted adopting a digital currency. Still, if Bitcoin wants to be truly considered a success in Europe, then it will need to find a way to build up its popularity in the area.
A Variety of Payment Methods
One of the proposed reasons for Bitcoin’s delay in adoption has to do with variety. Although Bitcoin was expected to succeed in the area due to the lack of a single unifying currency across all regions in Europe, in truth this variety has actually hurt Bitcoin. People are faced with so many different payment options across the region that there’s little incentive to immediately adopt Bitcoin instead. This is further compounded by the fact that many people perceive Bitcoin transaction fees as being too expensive for their daily lives. Until Bitcoin can rectify these issues and gain a stronger foothold in the market, it’s unclear how their expansion efforts will improve.
Bitcoin Needs to Build on its Strength
One of Bitcoin’s greatest strengths is its ability to provide quick transactions that are as safe as they are efficient. Unfortunately, Bitcoin transactions in Europe have seen a considerable upswing in resolution time. Lengthy transaction times have scared away many of Bitcoin’s potential adopters, and this perception is something they will need to overcome over the course of the next year.
The Bright Side
Despite these setbacks in Europe, things are still looking good for Bitcoin. With a market boom expected throughout 2017, this looks like it may finally be the year in which Europe begins adopting the digital cryptocurrency in earnest. Although it remains to be seen just how hard it is for Bitcoin to overcome its current perception, at least it’s known that the digital currency’s developers have been hard at work resolving many of the issues that its adopters have had.