Malta may be one step closer to becoming the Bitcoin Island now that the country’s first Bitcoin store has opened.
“I sell cars for Bitcoin, but the main thing is that I allow other people who want to sell their cars for Bitcoin to trade through my store. The store is not just for trading Bitcoin, you can buy anything you want with Bitcoin, if you have Bitcoin you can buy whatever you want. I’ve got people coming in selling their stuff for Bitcoin, and they don’t want money, they want the Bitcoin,” says Jomic Grech, the owner of the store.
Speaking to Lovin Malta, he explained that since he’s opened the store last Monday, he’s had a response that is “too much” to handle.
“We had a couple come in who have a house in Gozo and they want Bitcoin for it. What we are doing is introducing sellers to buyers, people who know about Bitcoin in a certain way,” he says.
Jomic got interested in Bitcoin last October after he wanted to buy a £20,000 car but realised he only had £5,000. He heard about cryptocurrencies, and realised that “if I got some Bitcoin and it kept going up, I could buy the car.”
Needless to say, he soon bought the car.
“Apart from the car, I’ve traded some Bitcoin for cash, and bought and sold it. But with the store I don’t intend on making money from Bitcoin, but being a service to benefit customers from the volatility of the markets. The cryptocurrency market is volatile, and will be for a few years – I mean, look at Ripple just today, it went up 30%, if you had invested €1,000 euros yesterday you would have made €300,” he points out.
Jomic wants to show people what Bitcoin is, and how to trade it, and, as if on cue, our phone call is cut short by a passerby who starts asking him if she can be taught to trade Bitcoin.
“In ten minutes I’ll teach you,” I hear Jomic say to the aspiring Bitcoin trader. “My dad is 65-years-old and even he knows how to trade Bitcoin.”
He returns to our call.
“I just came here to cut my hair and people are already asking me to teach them about Bitcoin,” he laughs.
As an ex-Forex trader – which Jomic calls “professional gambling” – Jomic is convinced that the cryptocurrencies market is the future.
“If there is a war in America, the dollar goes up, because it moves with oil and all that; or just look at what happened with the Sterling last year after they left the EU, it dropped 30c,” he says.
“Cryptocurrencies are freedom of movement: why do I need to have currency that needs to be printed and moved and is not instant and involves third-party banks,” he asks.
“It is exciting, it is the future,” says Jomic, “and when people see a shop saying ‘I accept Bitcoin’ it shows that its a real currency, and that you can actually buy things, and not just cash out.”
With Jomic’s store open, and other stores like QPartz in Mosta also announcing they will be accepting Bitcoin as payment, it seems the future might finally be upon us.