Coinbase is waiving its fees for bitcoin purchases made with euros to promote cryptocurrency to those wary of the ongoing Greek debt crisis.
Greece is about to default on a payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its government has rejected creditor demands for greater austerity measures. Greece’s Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, has called a national referendum on the issue for July 5. In the meantime, Greek banks have shut down and restrictions have been placed on withdrawals. The events have increased the likelihood of Greece’s exit, or ‘Grexit’, from the euro zone.
Coinbase is promoting bitcoin to Greeks unable to access euros, as well as all Europeans concerned over the future of the common currency’s value. On its blog, Coinbase writes:
“One of the main benefits of bitcoin is that it allows people to take control of their own wealth. Recent events in Greece have brought attention to this situation as the Greek banks have closed and limited customers to withdrawing 60 euros per day.
We feel that all Europeans should educate themselves on the benefit of using a global currency that is not controlled by any particular country or company.”
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Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has been vocal about how he believes Bitcoin can help remedy the problems of broken monetary systems:
Quick reminder that Coinbase is available in Greece https://t.co/osL0xZES2j every person there should be educating themselves on bitcoin
— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) June 17, 2015
Coinbase’s fee for buying or selling bitcoin are typically 1% of the transaction value, plus other possible minor amounts depending on the transaction size and fiat currency used.
The promotion is only available when buying bitcoin through Coinbase’s brokerage service, not its exchange. It will remain in effect until after the conclusion of the Greek referendum on July 5.
Coinbase launched its services in Europe last September, and they are available in most European Union (EU) countries.