A new bitcoin embassy was launched in Poland's capital Warsaw on 12th May with the aim of promoting the digital currency in the country and fostering innovation.
Located on Krucza 46 street, right in the city centre, the embassy is a stone's-throw from the Warsaw Stock Exchange and Poland's central bank - two of the most powerful financial institutions in the Polish economy.
Inside the newly furbished, contemporary office space stands bitcoin mining hardware. On one of the walls hangs a triple clock showing local time in three cities: Montreal, Tel Aviv and Warsaw.
"These are the first three cities in the world where bitcoin embassies were opened," explained Piotr Hetzig, chief executive of Bitcoin Embassy Warsaw (pictured above), adding:
"Our bitcoin embassy is the first institution of its kind in Europe, and this is a result of the rapidly developing Polish bitcoin scene."
Europe's first bitcoin embassy
According to estimates by Krzysztof Piech, PhD, an economist, bitcoin researcher and lecturer at the Warsaw School of Economics (SGH), Poland-based bitcoin miners rank 10th globally in term of their output.
So, in certain circles, bitcoin is certainly booming. However, the population at large still remains largely uneducated about the advantages of digital currencies.
Asked about the reasons for launching the embassy, Piotr Hetzig said the aim is to establish a meeting place for both bitcoin enthusiasts and those who have heard about the cryptocurrency, but wish to find out more about bitcoin before they consider making any investments.
"Many people, especially the younger generations, read about bitcoin online, but we also want to reach out to those who are used to more traditional forms of commerce and information," he told CoinDesk. "We understand this, and we will be happy to answer all possible questions related to bitcoin."
For those already involved in digital currency mining and trading, the embassy is offering a wide range of services.
"We will host [training sessions], meetings and various activities for the local bitcoin scene. Also, we will offer bitcoin mining hardware for sale for those [wanting] to upgrade their gear," Hetzig said.
One of the most important missions of the initiative is to foster increased trust in the digital currency, he said, adding"
"We want to host an open and honest conversation on bitcoin."
The bitcoin embassy is also in talks with one of the leading bitcoin ATM manufacturers. If all goes according to plan, Warsaw will soon be hosting the first machine of this kind in the Polish market.