The National Bank of Slovakia had the bitcoin logo displayed yesterday in a stunt by what appears to by a crypto activist group called Paralelna Polis. They say, and we quote in full:
“Cryptocurrencies represent for banking system what Gutenberg’s press was for literature.
As the church lost control over the manual rewriting of books, the central banks are losing control over new cryptocurrencies.
Slovak banks, instead of embracing the unlimited possibilities of cryptocurrencies and supporting the emerging crypto companies, due to state regulators or unclear legislation remain in the darkness. A witch hunt for crypto companies and blocking transactions to crypto exchanges continue.
The (en)light(enment) to the banks is an attempt to overcome the darkness, which, like in the 15th century, prevented revolutionary book technology to establish, now in the 21st century, is threatening the rise of a new blockchain decentralized era.”
We have heard little from Slovakia, the Eastern European slavic nation of 5 million people with a GDP of $200 billion and $35,000 per capita.
There is however an interesting article that quotes Slovakia’s Finance Minister Peter Kažimír. The article says:
“Kažimír added that he is not a big fan of this phenomenon and perceives cryptocurrencies as something not widely known and, thus, quite dangerous.”
This was in January this year, suggesting the stunt is perhaps more of a protest. Criticisms of banks behaving in an anti-competitive manner are of course not limited to Slovakia, but we have not heard of anyone else call it a “witch hunt.”
That might be an exaggeration, yet with a finance minister who appears to have no clue about cryptos and seems keen to use such strong language, perhaps they are not exaggerating.
That’s somewhat surprising because Slovakia’s internet speed appears somewhat decent at 23rd in the world and the country seems to have a small tech scene.
But their English literacy skills appear to be somewhat more dicy, at 17th out of 28 EU countries, so it might perhaps simply be the case they’re just uninformed, potentially lacking access to primary sources which are mostly in English.
Yet if this stunt is to show anything, it might suggest things may be changing in Slovakia as crypto-punks now start making noises.