Reports said that payments in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) have been on the rise at Croatia’s largest supermarket chain Konzum this year despite the ongoing bear market.
Ines Barbir, the Director of Business Applications at Konzum, said that after debuting crypto payments in 2021, Konzum has seen an increase in purchases made with crypto payments.
It has been reported that 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) stablecoins.
However, the supermarket chain has since expanded the crypto payment option to several self-checkout cash registers in physical pilot stores. Konzum is also still working with the local crypto payment firm Electrocoin to bring crypto payments to all 700 physical stores across Croatia.
The report said that according to Barbir, the rollout of the new payment method was implemented successfully, and Konzum has been working on expanding its crypto payment option. The executive didn’t specify the exact numbers of payments’ volume growth since debuting crypto payments.
A spokesperson for the firm said:
“Regardless of the bear market, we are satisfied with the interest which keeps on growing. The overall interest in cryptocurrency payments continues to increase steadily as well as the interest for the implementation of cryptocurrency payments in Croatia.”
The representative added:
“The reason for this is mainly due to the insecurity and suspicion in new technologies, but also due to the state of regulation of the crypto industry.”
Likewise, the government of Croatia has been somewhat silent about cryptocurrency regulation in recent years, while local crypto advocates have been working towards self-regulation. In 2018, the National Bank of Croatia emphasized that cryptocurrencies were not legal tender in the country, nor were they recognized as foreign currency or payment instruments.
Thus, despite some 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 the 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.