Latvian entrepreneurs claim world’s first cryptocurrency “embassy”
A couple of Latvian entrepreneurs have opened what they call the first Cryptocash Embassy — the first at least in Latvia, as far as I know. The “embassy” on a main street in the center of the capital, Riga is actually a marketing device for their B2B cryptocurrency business, the founders admitted.
They are Konstantīns Vasiļenko and Inokentijs Isers, both from Riga, who have been trading cryptocurrencies for three years through a fintech company they started called PayBis.com. The Cryptocash Embassy is open for retail sales of cryptocurrencies to ordinary consumers. “This is one of the first customer service centers in the world, where popular cryptocurrencies can be bought with a payment card or for cash,” Isers said. The “embassy” also provides information and consultations on investing in such cryptocurrencies as bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin and it sells “accessories” such as electronic bitcoin wallets.
Both Vasiļenko and Isers expressed confidence in the long-term viability of cryptocurrencies and their increasing adoption for day-to-day and business transactions despite the recent volatility of bitcoin and skepticism expressed by some major figures in the “mainstream” banking and financial industries.
Isers admitted that at present, cryptocurrencies should be considered a moderate to high risk investment, not something in which to invest the better part of one’s savings. At the same time, he believes the underlying blockchain technology will be increasingly used in business and governance processes in the future.
The Riga cryptocurrency retailer has the appearance of a bank branch with several desks where customers can order trades, then move on to pay with a card or cash and get all the necessary documentation proving the transaction and as evidence of their ownership of the currency units.
According to the owners, the storefront has been operating since September 13, prior to the November 27 official opening of the “embassy”. In two months, the retailer sold 24 bitcoin for EUR 130 000, 76 ethereum for EUR 13 000 and smaller amounts of litecoin and bitcoin cash. Customers also sold 35 bitcoin for EUR 183 000 in 200 sell transactions.
PayBis.com, the company behind the storefront “embassy” on Elizabetes Street in Riga has annual revenues of more tha EUR 50 million, according to a press release. On opening day, bitcoin were sold for around EUR 3300 for one coin, down from the peak of over EUR 17 000 some months ago.