Crypto is decentralized in nature. Theoretically, crypto hubs in the form of cities or countries don’t matter in this digital realm. But as crypto goes global, some places have taken the lead in this revolution. At the same time, some lag behind and are even banning cryptocurrencies.
More than 15,000 businesses around the world accept payments in crypto. But only around 2300 of them are based in the United States. Crypto enthusiasts are interested in knowing how different cities and countries are embracing decentralized finance.
Note: As crypto educators, we at SmartOptions want you to make the best financial decisions for yourself. When it comes to the practical world, you need to consider what the future of cryptocurrency looks like where you live and in different cities around the globe.
Here are the top ten cities that lead the crypto revolution.
Top 10 Crypto-friendly Cities
- San Francisco, US
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Vancouver, Canada
- Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Ljubljana, Slovenia
- Berlin, Germany
- Vilnius, Lithuania
- Miami, US
- Zug, Switzerland
San Francisco, US
Also known as the tech capital of the world, San Francisco cradles the blockchain universe. Home to leading crypto exchanges like Coinbase and Kraken, the city has hundreds of merchants in different industries that accept cryptocurrency payments.
Although the Bay area has a population of less than a million, there are more than 450 Bitcoin ATMs in and around San Francisco. This is a pretty impressive ratio! Some other popular names like Robinhood are also based here.
Prague, Czech Republic
Crowned as the most crypto-friendly city in the world in 2018, Prague is right up there with San Francisco. It boasts the most crypto-accepting merchants in the world. The Czech capital also has the world’s first Bitcoin-only coffee shop, Paralelní Polis.
Back in 2018, Prague was home to 154 venues that accepted cryptocurrency payments. These venues include bars, hotels, restaurants, cinemas, attractions, and malls. The city also has numerous BTC ATMs. Not just that, you could even rent an apartment or buy property in Prague with crypto. Fast forward to 2022, things have only advanced.
Canada is one of the few non-European countries to welcome cryptocurrency rather than place restrictions on it. The whole of Canada has a pretty vibrant crypto scene but it’s the most active in Vancouver.
BitMex, another leading exchange, has designated Vancouver as its North American hub. The city has more than 50 vendors that accept virtual currency payments and more than 221 places where you can buy cryptocurrencies.
Fun fact: In 2013, the world’s first BTC ATM began operations at the Waves Coffee House in Vancouver.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Apart from being a popular tourist destination, the Dutch capital is well known for embracing cryptocurrency. Leading crypto startups, like the payment service provider, BitPay and mining hardware maker, BitFury, are based in Amsterdam.
The city has around 70 vendors that accept Bitcoin payments including barbers, bike repair shops, and coffee shops. Six Bitcoin ATMs are available across the city. Amsterdam is also home to the Bitcoin Embassy. This is where the Dutch and even international crypto community promotes decentralized finance.
What makes Amsterdam a unique crypto hub is that in 2015, the city opened its world-famous Bitcoin Boulevard. This is a street where almost all shops accept crypto payments.
Named the most crypto-friendly European destination of 2022, Ljubljana is the capital and largest city of Slovenia. It’s the smallest city by population on this list, but it has more than 300 vendors that accept crypto payments! The city has 11 Bitcoin ATMs and is also home to BTC City, one of the largest shopping, leisure, business, and innovation centers in Europe. The huge shopping center has more than 500 stores that accept cryptocurrency payments.
Home to EOS, a blockchain OS for commercial-scale decentralized apps and the cryptocurrency IOTA, the German capital is a major contributor to the development of virtual currencies. It’s been the hub of the Ethereum scene for many years now. Not just that, at least 15 blockchain companies, including Centrifuge and Gnosis, are established in Berlin.
Berlin has displayed its crypto-friendliness ever since 2013 when markets in the Kreuzberg district started accepting Bitcoin. The city had the most crypto-accepting vendors in the world at one point in time.
It’s not just Berlin. Germany as a whole has passed a range of laws from legalizing some electronic-only securities and allowing banks to store and own cryptocurrencies.
Vilnius has become an international hub for education, networking, startup acceleration, professional services, and blockchain-related events thanks to the Blockchain Center based in the city. More and more blockchain and crypto firms are choosing the Lithuanian city to establish their headquarters due to the country’s crypto-friendly policies.
Lithuania promotes an open market economy and has transparent crypto regulations, advanced IT infrastructure, and entrepreneurship, making it an excellent choice for Blockchain startups. Vilnius also has numerous eateries, beauty salons, service companies, and even medical services that accept cryptocurrency.
Miami is taking over New York as America’s decentralized finance capital as exchanges like Blockchain.com have announced moving their US headquarters from NYC to Miami. The metropolitan city has more than 50 vendors accepting crypto and a whopping 650+ Bitcoin ATMs!
The city’s mayor, Francis Suarez, has aimed to make Miami a hub for blockchain businesses and has even proposed that employees be paid virtually. The city also hosts the Miami Bitcoin Conference, one of the largest conventions in the crypto world. Miami’s importance as a crypto hub can be understood from the fact that FTX has spent tens of millions to buy the naming rights to the Miami Heat stadium.
Although not technically a city, the small Swiss town is definitely a crypto hub as it hosts the Crypto Valley, a group of blockchain and crypto companies including the Ethereum Foundation and other altcoins such as Cardano, Dfinity, Bancor, and Tezos. Zug has one of the lowest tax rates in the region which attracts companies from all over the world. The best part? Companies based in Zug can even pay their taxes in crypto.
Singapore is a major Asian financial hub and has gained a lot more prominence in the crypto world after China placed a ban on crypto activity, which extends to Hong Kong too. Some of the largest exchanges like Coinbase and Binance are seeking licenses to operate here.
Singapore has a vibrant crypto scene with more than 400 blockchain startups registered here. It also hosts a market data firm, Nansen, exchanges Crypto.com, and De-Fi protocol Kyber Network’s headquarters.
The Singaporean government’s enthusiasm for decentralized finance is behind the growth of the crypto industry in the city-state. Government agencies have only recently launched the Singapore Blockchain Innovation Programme (SBIP). This is a research project focused on the application of blockchain in trade, logistics, and the supply chain and is funded with about $8.9 million USD.