When the Cypriot economic crisis hit in March 2013, many citizens fell victim to account freezes as financial institutions stopped all withdrawals and seized deposits without notice, highlighting the inherent risk in storing wealth in a centralised system. Over that month bitcoin adoption grew by almost 700%, rocketing the price from £6 to £83, with a large portion of that increase coming from the Cyprian state.
Greece is debt stricken, and struggling to meet its repayments to the tune of 1.6 Billion Euros owed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by the end of June. With the due date mere days away and the likelihood of 'Grexit' (Greece's exit from the Eurozone) becoming a reality growing, bitcoin enthusiasts have been keeping a watchful eye on the market. And they haven’t been disappointed.
On Tuesday 16th June the price of bitcoin increased by 7% trading at a high of £159.11 and closing at £154.22 for the day. This marked an end to what has been a record low volatility price action for the global currency for the past 3 months. The driver? Grecians scrambling to move their money out of the clutches of financial institutions and into bitcoin for safekeeping.
Greeks are preparing for ‘Grexit’ by hedging themselves with the effective use of private assets such as bitcoin, gold and silver. For the average Greek citizen, bitcoin represents a renewed trust in currency, one that isn't influenced by political or economic agenda. What the Greek crisis demonstrates is the power of choice bitcoin provides its users. Greeks are being empowered by having the choice to divest from traditional government controlled schemes into an asset free of such restrictions. It’s because of this choice many Greeks will now sleep easier knowing they have a large portion of their wealth secured, in their own hands, and accessible at any time they please.