Best Bitcoin Exchange for Slovakia

Paralelná Polis from Bratislava, a pro-crypto-currency action group, has illuminated the Slovak Central Bank and numerous other banking buildings with the silhouette of Bitcoin and Monero. With this action, the group wanted to draw attention in a spectacular way to the hostility of local supervisory authorities towards crypto-currency companies and investors.

The group, which operates the “Cryptoanarchy Institute”, among other things, published a proof video as well as numerous photos of the protest as proof of the action on various social media channels. The video and the photos show various institutions and banks that have expressed hostility to crypto currencies and owners. The video culminates at the National Bank of Slovakia. The buildings were illuminated with a black and white Bitcoin logo, similar to the Batman signal when the DC comic superhero goes on a manhunt. The Paralelná Polishaben also briefly projected the logo of the anonymous crypto currency Monero on the central bank.

Background of the protest action, according to the group, is a “witch hunt” against stock exchanges and other companies that support the crypto movement. Crypto currencies represent for the banking system what Gutenberg’s pressure for literature was.

In an opinion, Paralelná Polis stated that the current situation of crypto currencies is comparable to the situation around the church and book printing. Just as the Church lost control of Gutenberg’s manual rewriting of books with letterpress printing, the Group believes that central banks are currently losing control of the currency system through crypto currencies.

Instead of the Slovak banks accepting the unlimited possibilities of crypto currencies and supporting the emerging industry, they are left in the dark by state regulations and unclear legislation. A witch hunt for crypto companies and the blocking of transactions on crypto exchanges continues.

The light to the banks is an attempt to overcome the darkness that, as in the 15th century, prevented the revolutionary book printing technology, and in the 21st century hinders the beginning of a new decentralized blockchain era.

Economy in Slovakia

In the 14th and 15th centuries, the territory of present-day Slovakia, which then belonged to the Kingdom of Hungary, was world-famous for its mining industry. The most important mining towns were near Kremnica (“Golden Kremnitz”), Banská Štiavnica (“Silver Schemnitz”) and Banská Bystrica. Hungary was the largest European gold producer in the Middle Ages and accounted for a third of world gold production and a quarter of European silver production. Copper ores from Banská Bystrica also gained a dominant position in the market, at least in Europe.

In the 20th century Slovakia was initially regarded as a technologically backward agricultural state within democratic Czechoslovakia, but in the course of the communist era it was strongly industrialised through the establishment of a heavy and arms industry. As a result, Slovakia became one of the most important tank workshops in Europe and the world.

After the democratic change, the Czechoslovak economy collapsed between 1989 and 1993, and the large armouries of central Slovakia were closed. The total slump in industrial production led to an almost complete deindustrialization of the country. Industrial production began to grow again in 1994 and from the mid-1990s Slovakia succeeded in achieving the strongest economic growth among the post-communist states with 6.5%. This growth was driven in particular by export performance and, from 1996 onwards, by massive public investment by the government Mečiar, which led to a tripling of Slovakia’s foreign debt and a dramatic deterioration in its balance of payments. The privatization process was also problematic, with the government Mečiar often running unprofitable nepotism.

Slovakia as part of the euro area and the European single market

When the Dzurinda government took office in 1998, it embarked on a strongly liberal economic course. The austerity programs of 2002 and 2004 were of particular importance. The economic historian Hannes Hofbauer describes the 2002 program as the presumably toughest austerity program of an EU accession candidate. Both austerity packages were based on price and tax increases in the public sector and cuts in the private sector to improve the state budget and attract foreign investors at the same time. In 2004, Slovakia was the first country to introduce a flat tax of 19%. In the same year, the country also joined NATO and the European Union.

Under the Dzurinda government (1998-2006), Slovakia became the leading location for car production outsourced from Western Europe. These account for about 40% of Slovak exports. In 2003 Volkswagen opened a plant in Bratislava, followed by PSA Peugeot Citroën in Trnava and Hyundai-Kia in Žilina. All automobile factories together produce on average up to one million cars per year, making Slovakia the country with the highest per capita automobile production in Europe with a total population of 5.4 million. As a result of the global economic crisis that began in 2007, production slumped sharply, but stabilised relatively until 2012. Slovakia now bears the nickname of “Detroit Europe”. Slovakia produced 980,000 vehicles in 2013. According to the Slovak Automobile Association, the automotive industry now accounts for 12 % of GDP and 26 % of the country’s total exports. In the same year Jaguar Land Rover announced that it would also set up a factory in Nitra, the first vehicles of which are scheduled to roll off the production line in 2018. In the first phase, 150,000 vehicles per year are to be produced, with production rising to 300,000 cars per year within ten years. Meanwhile (as of winter 2015), Slovakia produces the most new cars per capita on a global scale, and the automotive industry employs around 80,000 people. In 2015, the Slovak automotive industry produced more than a million vehicles for the first time, setting a new world record. The car industry currently accounts for 44 % of Slovakia’s total industry.

The Fico government (2006-2010) ended the neoliberal course of the previous cabinet and tried to implement a social democratic program. Economic growth reached 10.4% for 2007 as a whole, the highest in the EU. Nominal wage levels are the lowest in Central Europe. Slovakia joined the Schengen Agreement in 2008 and became part of the euro area on 1 January 2009. The Slovak koruna’s last central rate was 30.1260 crowns per euro.

The banking sector is almost entirely in foreign hands, 75 % of Slovak banks before Slovakia joined the EU and 96 % in 2012.The international economic crisis also affected the Slovak financial sector, although unlike other countries it was hardly dependent on state support and at no time jeopardised macroeconomic stability.

Slovakia’s economic strengths include a long industrial tradition, high economic growth by European standards, a well-educated and motivated workforce and the elimination of exchange rate risks and transaction costs due to euro area membership. The Slovak economy’s weaknesses include a high dependence on exports, a small domestic market with relatively low purchasing power and poorly developed infrastructure in the east of the country.

Another problem is the strong East-West divide and the different development of the individual regions. The capital Bratislava and its hinterland exaggerate the rest of the country in all economic areas. The quality of life here is similar to that in the richer countries of the European Union, where per capita GDP is 119.7% of the average Union value. In comparison, the Prešov Regional Council achieves only 10% of economic output for the same number of inhabitants. As far as energy policy is concerned, Slovakia relies, among other things, on two Soviet-designed nuclear power plants, of which the Mochovce nuclear power plant, in particular, has been the subject of fierce controversy since the end of the 1990s as a result of Austrian complaints and objections.

Slovakia’s gross domestic product

Slovakia’s gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to 78.85 billion euros in 2016. The gross domestic product per capita amounted to 14,520 euros in the same year. In comparison with the GDP of the EU expressed in purchasing power standards, Slovakia reached an index value of 77 (EU-28:100) in 2015 and thus about 62 % of the German value. Economic growth in 2016 was 3.3 %. The unemployment rate in June 2018 was 6.9 %, slightly below the EU average. In 2017 youth unemployment was 18.2 %. In 2016 3.9 % of all workers worked in agriculture, 22.7 % in industry and 73.4 % in the service sector. The total number of employees for 2017 is estimated at 2.76 million. Average earnings are currently around 912 euros gross per month. The price development in 2016 was -0.5 %.

In the Global Competitiveness Index, which measures a country’s competitiveness, Slovakia ranks 59th out of 137 countries (2017-2018). In the Index for Economic Freedom, Slovakia ranks 57th out of 180 countries in 2017.

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