Bitcoin, the best-known cryptocurrency, is used all over the world by a variety of people for various reasons. According to the article How Many People Use Bitcoin in 2020 by Bitcoin Market Journal, there are 5.8 million bitcoin users around the world and about five percent of Americans hold the digital currency. A survey conducted by the Global Blockchain Council and SurveyMonkey that was taken by 5,000 Americans found that 60 percent of Americans have heard of bitcoin and that around five percent hold the digital currency. If you deduce that to the U.S. population, that would mean an estimated 16 million Americans have invested in bitcoin.
We know that bitcoin is popular in the U.S. and around the world, but what cities are the top bitcoin hotspots?
Investopedia compiled a list of the top 10 cities that are bitcoin hotspots, focusing on three metrics: the number of merchants accepting bitcoin in each city, the number of bitcoin ATMs available, and population size relative to bitcoin activity. For merchant data, it looked at Coinmap, a collaborative tool for listing and locating businesses that accept bitcoin. It also looked at Coin ATM Radar, which shows the locations of bitcoin and other cryptocurrency ATMs across the world.
The 10 cities dominating bitcoin are the following:
1. San Francisco
As the technology capital of the U.S., it’s not surprising that it takes the number one spot. San Francisco is home to cryptocurrency trading platforms Coinbase and Kraken. More than two dozen merchants accept bitcoin, including nine restaurants, a bakery and two bars. There are 19 places to buy bitcoin from an ATM. This is impressive, given its relatively small population of 880,000.
Bitcoin has a strong community in Canada, which has taken regulatory steps to embrace the digital currency. Vancouver is home to QuadrigaCX, the defunct cryptocurrency exchange that lost C$180 million in client funds after the alleged death of its founder. More than two dozen merchants in Vancouver accept bitcoin and residents can buy bitcoin at nearly 40 ATMs. Interestingly, the world’s first bitcoin ATM began operation at Waves Coffee House on October 29, 2003, in downtown Vancouver. The city is home to more than 631,000 residents.
Amsterdam is home to mining hardware maker, Bitfury and the European headquarters of payment service provider, BitPay. More than 30 merchants accept bitcoin in the capital city, including a bike rental, a barber and an antique ring shop. The city’s 840,000 residents have about a dozen bitcoin ATMs available to them. Merchants in Utrecht, Rotterdam and the Hague also accept cryptocurrency.
4. Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and its largest city, yet it has the smallest population on the list, which is about 289,000. The renowned bitcoin exchange Bitstamp was founded by Slovenians before setting up operations in Luxembourg and London. Ljubljana has four bitcoin ATMs and roughly 200 merchants who accept bitcoin.
5. Tel Aviv
Israel’s financial center and one of the world’s leading cities for startups, Tel Aviv has more than a dozen merchants accepting bitcoin and two bitcoin ATMs. The city has a population of 451,000. The Israel Bitcoin Meetup Group in Tel Aviv is among the most active in the world with more than 3,800 members.
The largest city in Switzerland and a leading financial center, Zurich has about two dozen businesses that accept bitcoin and 10 ATMs. The city has a population of more than 428,000.
7. Tampa, Florida
This city of 392,000 residents has about four dozen merchants who accept bitcoin and a surprising 45 bitcoin ATMs.
8. Buenos Aires
More than 100 merchants in Buenos Aires and the surrounding area accept bitcoin, and there are 11 bitcoin ATMs in the city of 2.9 million people.
9. New York
The financial and tech hub with a population of 8.4 million, New York residents can spend their bitcoin at about three dozen merchants in the five boroughs and buy bitcoin at 14 ATMs. New York is home to the Gemini exchange founded by twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.
The capital of the U.K. is home to 8.9 million residents, more than 130 bitcoin ATMs and about 50 merchants who accept bitcoin. Startups based in the city include Coinfloor, which claims to be the oldest bitcoin exchange in the U.K. There are also dozens of bitcoin and cryptocurrency Meetup groups in London.
Other regions becoming more accepting of bitcoin and cryptocurrency include Cyprus and Malta, as well as countries experiencing economic uncertainty and currency volatility such as Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
Cryptocurrency is constantly evolving, so maybe next year your city will become a bitcoin hotspot!