Crypto Payments Startup Eligma Raises €4 Million From Bitcoin.com and Pangea Blockchain Fund

In fact, with a population of just 2 million people, Slovenia now contains more retail locations accepting bitcoin cash payments than the United States.

Many retail stores would like to welcome the added business that the crypto community brings, but find that they don’t have the capability to do so within their existing payment infrastructure. One company bridging this gap is Slovenian startup Eligma which is now set to start global expansion with an infusion of cash from Bitcoin.com and Pangea Blockchain Fund.

Also Read: What Makes Slovenia a Cryptocurrency Leader – Bitcoin.com Mini-Documentary

Eligma Raises €4 Million For Global Expansion

Eligma has announced it’s recently completed a new funding round, bringing the total investment to €4 million ($4.39M) with participation from Bitcoin.com and Pangea Blockchain Fund. The company is the developer of Elipay, an infrastructure for accepting crypto payments at brick-and-mortar as well as online shops where merchants can receive settlement in local fiat currency.

Since starting out with a public crowdsale in 2018, Eligma has established more than 450 locations in Slovenia, Croatia and Turkey accepting crypto on a daily basis. The new injection of capital will help the company expand its services to additional markets around the world where merchants wish to add support for crypto payments at the point-of-sale.

Crypto Payments Startup Eligma Raises €4 Million From Bitcoin.com and Pangea Blockchain Fund

“On a daily basis, we are being contacted by merchants and companies from various countries where cryptocurrencies already represent an important alternative to the local currency or fiat in general. This is not only an important recognition of all our hard work and persistence, but is also proof of the practical utility of our ideas and solutions. We are proud to have raised the interest of Bitcoin.com and Pangea Blockchain Fund, whose investment clearly reflects their belief that our solutions have global market potential,” stated Eligma CEO Dejan Roljic.

Pangea Blockchain Fund is an investment firm focusing on offering intellectual and financial capital to early stage blockchain companies. It invests in entrepreneurs committed to building blockchain solutions that disrupt or transform the status quo. The firm secured $22 million in a seed round in February 2019 from a group of investors including Copernicus Asset Management SA, a Switzerland-based financial services group, and Bitcoin.com Executive Chairman Roger Ver.

Empowering Merchants to Accept Cryptocurrencies

Elipay helps businesses accept cryptocurrencies as payment in a way that they are familiar with, without being exposed to the volatility of the crypto markets or to the regulatory and tax uncertainty that currently exists when receiving crypto in many countries. The service is already used by hotels, shops, restaurants, sports facilities and a range of service providers, including for flight tickets, taxi rides and car rentals. It is also notably accepted by 14 supermarkets from one of Slovenia’s biggest grocery store chains Tus, with more than 20,000 products on offer.

On the buyer side, the shopping process is designed to be extremely simple. The user just scans the purchase QR code with a crypto wallet, selects the cryptocurrency and confirms the transaction. Currently, the supported locations can serve more than 20,000 users of the Elipay app as well as the 4 million users of the Bitcoin.com Wallet. The company also plans to open up its infrastructure for additional crypto wallets soon.

The Elipay service offered by Eligma is available for Android and iOS mobile devices. It supports cryptocurrencies like ETH, BCH, BTC, and the company’s native token, ELI. Users of the Elipay app receive up to 2% of ELI tokens back for every purchase, and can spend these on further shopping at any of the Elipay locations. According to a recent blog post by the CEO of Eligma, following the new investment, the ELI token will be integrated into the Bitcoin.com Wallet and will be listed on the new Bitcoin.com Exchange. The token will also shift from the Ethereum blockchain to the Bitcoin Cash blockchain.

Crypto Payments Startup Eligma Raises €4 Million From Bitcoin.com and Pangea Blockchain Fund

“The development of finance is going towards cash becoming a thing of the past. Among other things, this is because doing business with it is quite time-consuming and expensive. On the other hand, one of the main problems with cryptocurrencies is that the confirmation of transactions can take several minutes if not more, which is unacceptable in daily shopping. Eligma effectively solved this problem with Elipay, which enables instant crypto transactions; furthermore, the merchant receives settlement in local fiat and is thus safe from crypto volatility. This makes the use of cryptocurrencies quick and effective for daily use. We must not forget that cryptocurrencies were envisioned as the electronic cash of the future,“ commented Roljic.

The Slovenian Success Story

Beyond empowering local businesses in their home market to accept cryptocurrency payments, Eligma has greatly helped put Slovenia on the map for many crypto entrepreneurs and developers. The country is now a global leader in the number of brick-and-mortar shops and service providers accepting fiat and crypto. In fact, with a population of just 2 million people, Slovenia now contains more retail locations accepting bitcoin cash payments than the United States. A recent short documentary on Bitcoin.com’s Youtube channel highlighted the thriving cryptocurrency ecosystem in Slovenia.

Elipay has also enabled the creation of Bitcoin City, a giant shopping mall with over 500 shops where many accept crypto payments in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana. This commercial center is frequented by 21 million visitors a year and features the world’s highest concentration of shops accepting crypto in one location. Eligma revealed it now plans to expand this concept to additional cities around the world.

What do you think about the €4 million investment in crypto payments startup Eligma by Bitcoin.com and Pangea Blockchain Fund? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Eligma.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Bitcoin.com Markets, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

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Avi Mizrahi

Avi Mizrahi is an economist and entrepreneur who has been covering Bitcoin as a journalist since 2013. He has spoken about the promise of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology at numerous financial conferences around the world, from London to Hong-Kong.

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Development of Artificial Intelligence in Croatia Offers Opportunities

A conversation on the potential of artificial intelligence for Croatia and whether or not robots will eventually replace humans was held with Ratko …

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes on the 18th of August, 2019, HUP has just published a document outlining the opportunities for the use of artificial intelligence in Croatia, so it’s easy to assume that this will also become a permanent topic in market and business related discussions.

A conversation on the potential of artificial intelligence for Croatia and whether or not robots will eventually replace humans was held with Ratko Mutavdžić, a member of the Executive Board of the HUP-ICT Association, and the director of the public services sector at Microsoft’s cloud.

Is Croatia aware of the potential of artificial intelligence in terms of markets and business?

What’s most likely, like most things in our country, the potential has been recognised with a few years of delay.

Applications have become more significant with the adoption of artificial intelligence in products from other industries, such as the automotive, finance or commerce industries, where the rapid effects of application in existing or new products on the available data have been recognised.

Today, this is increasingly taking place, and due to its good results and the low cost of its application, artificial intelligence has slowly begun to take the lead in new applied technologies in many Croatian companies. The role of the state in creating an environment that will foster the development and application of artificial intelligence solutions should not be neglected.

The beginnings were not very promising – let’s recall that Croatia was the last member state of the EU to sign the Charter on the Application of Artificial Intelligence, but there have been recent efforts of the Ministry of Economy to indicate through the activities of the Croatian Employers’ Association, as well as through participation in the work of the National Council for Digital Economy, that they’re thinking about this. The EU is also earmarking some 2.3 billion euros for artificial intelligence projects.

HUP has just published a document outlining the opportunities for the use of artificial intelligence in Croatia, so we can assume that this will also become a permanent topic in discussions related to the market and business based on artificial intelligence.

Specific examples at Microsoft?

The application of artificial intelligence is diverse.

Companies like Microsoft have made it easy to deploy, made it low in its cost of use, and fast-paced, through platforms that are accessible to everyone, such as cloud-based platforms. Today, it is embedded in almost all products, introducing new features or enhancing the user experience to a lesser or greater extent.

You already see such applications in everyday life, especially if you have a smartphone. On the other hand, it helps companies accelerate and automate processes, reduce errors, eliminate manual work. It’s not only a matter of improving the performance of companies but also of application in various fields such as healthcare, education or public administration. It’s easier to spot specific illnesses, find out far earlier about potential problems, understand how we can help children individually in schools, or how we can speed up court processes.

In which areas is it being used?

Artificial intelligence has gained new life in the last ten years. We came out of the “ice age” of artificial intelligence development because we had several things to do: We developed better algorithms, enabled them to be processed quickly and scalably using large publicly available processing platforms, through cloud computing, and began to collect large amounts of data that we need for artificial intelligence.

Today, companies are making significant investments in deployment, while major platform makers, such as Microsoft, are investing several billion dollars a year in this development. There are currently no restrictions on implementation, although, rightly, questions arise in which areas we should consider applying it.

There is more and more talk about the ethics and law of artificial intelligence and how we should regulate it. While all of our efforts are aimed towards applying it to the well-being of technology for humanity as a whole, there are always attempts to misuse technology in ways that we, as a community, disagree with – and this needs to be understood well and properly regulated.

Do Croatian companies use European Union money to develop artificial intelligence?

A large number of members and partners involved with HUP, but also other communities, and partners of the companies producing artificial intelligence platforms, have a great opportunity to use EU money from the Digital Europe 2021-2027 financial package and program, which envisages around 2.3 billion euros for artificial intelligence-based projects.

However, even without such significant support, the development of such solutions is very intensive in Croatia, and there are a number of companies and individuals involved in artificial intelligence. Most of the first solutions are either based on platform-based cognitive services that allow you to build popular chatbots that you can find on various company and organisation websites today, or at simpler levels of machine learning, again related to cognitive services such as facial recognition, objects, or text.

Part of the problem is either a lack of quality data or limited support for lesser spoken languages ​​such as Croatian. But lately, with the growth of knowledge and the available data, we’re seeing more complex solutions, for example, in the automotive industry we now have self-driving cars or the transport industry where we have robots for carrying out warehouse work. The artificial intelligence gathering and sharing community is very active and you can follow its work on the Ai2future community websites.

And how does ICT deal with the problem of a lack of qualified personnel?

This is an area that is growing, and the salaries of such employees are among the largest in the country and continue to grow for specialists by area. The disadvantage is noticeable, but the application of technologies allows us to work and produce solutions anywhere. It’s hard to talk about a ”skilled workforce” and ”imports” in this context – in the computer industry, the only thing that really matters is that you know what to do, no matter where you are physically or how you get the results. I think that these manufacturing activities today are the best way to show what the workplace looks like and the work of the future – distributed, shared, remote, but also unified. I think many industries should be learning from us.

How do you comment on the views that robots will replace humans?

For many years, artificial intelligence was portrayed in a negative way; as a machine tasked with eliminating humans and human existence. Artificial intelligence would be portrayed as a program that has stripped itself of human control and self-awareness leading the world to destruction. It is because of this understanding that we are very cautious about how we move forward and what we create and, in parallel with development, we understand the ethics, rights, morals, and the reach of such solutions.

We try to understand what values ​​and principles we need to ”instill” when it comes to such intelligence and establish norms by which it would behave, which is not easy because the human community does not all have the same views on individual things.

Unfortunately, it has already been shown that particular human immorality has a very successful effect on how artificial intelligence behaves, and this is certainly an issue that we will continue to hold to be of importance. In some highly repetitive automation industries, yes, robots will replace humans.

It’s difficult to see manual work in factories in Croatia where a worker works on a piece of product or moves it manually; you can’t compete with a robot that will do the same job 100 times faster than you. But in a range of industries and fields, there will be no replacement – robots and programs will be an added value for humans to improve their work. We’ll probably still have doctors who will be assisted by artificial intelligence, preparing results, providing better insight and the like, but the final decision will be that of a specialist.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle and business pages for more information on artificial intelligence in Croatia and much more.

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Croatian Post Offices Flag Off Pilot Project To Convert XRP, Bitcoin and Three Other …

The accepted coins include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and some other cryptocurrencies. CEO of Bitcoin.com, Roger Ver was the first person to …

Croatia is one country that identifies herself as a crypto-friendly nation. The country has taken another huge step to showcase its support of the blockchain technology as well as digital currencies.

In a press release, the country’s post office announced that its huge network of 1016 post offices would be part of a pilot project to convert fiat into top cryptocurrencies. The tokens that would benefit from this program include XRP, Bitcoin, EOS, Stellar and Ethereum.

XRP (XRP) Price Today – XRP / USD

Name Price
ripple

XRP

$0.309

Zadar Post Office Pilot is Collaborating With Electrocoin

According to the press release:

The goal of the Croatian Post is to offer the possibility of replacing crypto valued in all major settlements and tourist centers in Croatia.”

This post office pilot is supported by Electrocoin, a Croatian firm that has run the affairs of Bitcoin-mjenjacnica crypto exchange since 2014.

The pilot program was set to start on July 15. Both foreign tourists and domestic users of crypto are allowed to change their tokens into fiat. The process was also simplified to encourage more people to use the services.

All the users need to do to use this service is to fill an application form, and scan a QR code to receive cash at the post office. At the moment, only users who have Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stellar, XRP and EOS can participate. Perhaps more options would be added in the future.

This isn’t the first time a post office is offering support for crypto holders.

Similar Projects Have Sprung up In Recent Times

About a year ago, the Austrian post also launched a program that allows users to buy cryptocurrency. The post office partnered with BitPanda and offered users Bitcoin, Ethereum, IOTA, Litecoin, XRP, Dash, Bitcoin Cash, and Komodo. However, this program only covered 400 post office branches in the country.

Also, Eligma launched the Elipay system in May this year. The program was launched in Croatia as well and allows shoppers to pay for their services and goods in cryptocurrency. The accepted coins include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and some other cryptocurrencies. CEO of Bitcoin.com, Roger Ver was the first person to initiate a transaction using this service in Croatia. He used it to pay for hotel services in Navis Design hotel.

Such Small Steps Lead to Mass Adoption of Cryptocurrencies

The digital revolution has started already and countries like Croatia are at the forefront. Despite the problems plaguing the Crypto industry, analysts believe it can achieve mass adoption. As use cases for coins like XRP and Bitcoin grow, the industry moves closer to adoption. High volatility and security issues have slowed down the process, but more and more institutional leaders are showing interest in cryptocurrency.

Ripple is one of such companies that aim to achieve mass adoption of its native token, XRP. It’s countless partnerships help push the coin. Sadly, the effects have yet to be seen as volatility kicks in.

XRP is trading at $0.310201 at press time. The market cap of the token is $13.29 Billion with a 24 hour volume of $823.41 Million. XRP price has grown by 0.23% in the last hour. The crypto market started the day in the red zone since Bitcoin fell below $10k. The coins appear to be recovering from the recent losses.

Princess Ogono is a writer, lawyer and fitness enthusiast. She believes cryptocurrencies are the future. When she’s not writing, she spends time with her adorable cat, Ginger and works out often.

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Changing Bitcoins to Kuna? It’s Now Possible with Croatian Post

Owners of cryptocurrencies who want to replace their virtual money for cold hard cash, more specifically the Croatian kuna, no longer need to seek …

Remember all the bitcoin range from not so long ago? While the subject might have died down a little over the last few years, it’s still relevant to many. While Croatian Post often gets little other than rather negative press, it seems they’ve taken a rather unexpected leap into the modern world.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 25th of July, 2019, there have been an increasing number of users of bitcoin and other crypto-currencies over the last several years, and Croatian Post (Hrvatska Pošta), with its current national network of 1,016 postal offices, wants to further contribute to bitcoin’s overall popularity.

Owners of crypto-currencies who want to replace their virtual money for cold hard cash, more specifically the Croatian kuna, no longer need to seek out a crypto-currency cash machine or bank. As of July the 15th, 2019, they have been able to switch their bitcoins for kuna thanks to Croatian Post.

As they reported themselves from Croatian Post, all domestic and foreign users of crypto-currencies can change it to the Croatian kuna in Zadar post offices. You’re probably envisioning a lengthy, ridiculous process and unjustifiable waiting times, just as with almost everything else in Croatia, right? You’d be wrong, at least this time. According to Croatian Post, the process can be completed in just a few very simple steps.

After the application is filed, the QR code is scanned and in the post office can then raise the cash. It is currently possible to switch the five most commonly used crypto-currencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stellar, Ripple and EOS), to the kuna.

This interesting and surprisingly modern pilot project, in cooperation with another Croatian company, Electrocoin, which has been running bitcoin-mjenjacnica.hr for five whole years now, has been implemented in three post offices in Zadar (Škožići Benje 1, Josip Juraj Strossmayera 8, and Maslenica Street 1), and at these locations, the level of interest for this type of service will be showcased.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

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Croatian Technology Companies Aren’t as Young as They Appear

That same year, the secretive Satoshi Nakamoto conceived what we now know today as Bitcoin, Trump’s forerunner, Barack Obama, became the …

As Bernard Ivezic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 27th of June, 2019, given the fact that we’re currently living in the fast-paced era of start-ups, the growth of technology companies in Croatia may seem surprising. However, these companies aren’t as young as they might first appear, and the most famous Croatian “start-up” is actually a company which is completing its first decade of operations.

Mate Rimac’s company Rimac Automobili was founded in 2009, and today it boasts more than 500 employees. That same year, the secretive Satoshi Nakamoto conceived what we now know today as Bitcoin, Trump’s forerunner, Barack Obama, became the president of the United States of America, and astronomers discovered GJ 1214 b, the first exoplanet on which there is water, and thus the first place in the universe which isn’t the earth, but has virtually identical conditions for the development of life as we know it.

Rimac’s company, therefore, had time and opportunities to grow to the size it now is today, but there are many Croatian technology companies that are older, and some are bigger than Rimac Automobili, which is undoubtedly the most famous.

The biggest Croatian computer game maker, Nanobit, was founded back in 2008, the year when the financial crisis hit Croatia hard, and this year, it celebrates eleven years of successful and profitable business. Furthermore, the largest Croatian software company, which is also the company with the most end-users, over seven billion of them to be more precise – is Infobip. This Croatian company has become popular in the view of the wider public over the last two to three years, but that didn’t all happen overnight as it sometimes might seem when reading about it.

Infobip was actually initially founded back in late 2006, the same year that Italy won the World Cup in Germany, and when Nintendo launched the Wii console onto the market. Infobip is celebrating its thirteenth year of business this year.

Silvio Kutić, the co-founder and director of Infobip, says that today, that Croatian company has 63 offices across the world and employs more than 1,700 workers, but that his vision is even more ambitious than before.

“We’re focused on continuing to grow as a Centre for Excellence in Engineering, and in the next two years, we’ll employ more than 2,000 engineers globally, and in particular, we’re particularly focused on the project that we’re calling the Vodnjan Tech City over the next couple of years,” stated Kutić.

He says that Vodnjan is a town of about 3,700 inhabitants, and that they want to raise the population of the city by a futher ten percent in the next five years. They want to do this by bringing engineers from all over the world to work and live in the Croatian town of Vodnjan, create new values, ​​and create even more new innovative technology solutions. All this is taking place in Istria, which otherwise relies heavily on tourism, in the headquarters of the company, where it all began more than ten years ago.

“I’d like to emphasise the fact that Infobip operates in the world of high technology, where extremely fast changes are always taking place. Any IT company, even if it isn’t in the center of innovation… if it doesn’t create new values, it may fail tomorrow, regardless of any of its long-term plans. I want Infobip to be a long-term successful company and to remain independent. What we’re building today, we’re build for the distsnt future too, and to create for many more decades ahead,” noted Kutić.

Thankfully, he’s not alone in holding such ambitious views. The largest mobile application manufacturer in the Republic of Croatia, Infinum, was founded back in 2005. That same year, YouTube was launched, the first super jumbo jet Airbus A380 was launched, and the first ever case of a man having been successfully cured of the dreadful HIV was proven.

For the Croatian company Infinum, which builds most of its work globally, it means that next year it will celebrate a decade and a half of hard yet successful work. Tomislav Car, the co-founder and director of Infinum, said that in the first six years of existence, the company was made up only of its two founders. At that time, they had just completed their studies at FER.

“After that, we brought in new partners, we strengthened our team, we started to grow, and as such we’ve grown to 210 employees in the last eight years,” said Car, adding that their overall goal is to make sure Infinum remains an independent company for many years. “We love doing what we do and it’s going well for us, but most importantly, we think we’re creating a good story and a positive impact on the society around us,” said Car.

He says that Infinum will surely change, reorganise and become something different in the coming period, as it has had to until this point, but that’s just part of the challenge of creating and developing such a company.

King ICT, one of the largest system integrators in Croatia, which celebrated twenty years of business last year, know just what such transformations typically look like. It’s similar to the Croatian company with the highest award for innovation at the international level, Zagreb’s Citus, which is also celebrating two decades of business this year. However, there are a number of Croatian technology companies that are even older.

The software company with the largest number of employees in Croatia, IN2 group, was established back in 1992. For a long time, the largest Croatian software exporter was Span, which was founded in 1993. Zagreb’s Altpro, one 22 of the world’s most significant companies which deal with rail transport technologies, is celebrating a quarter of a century of doing business this year, while the M SAN Group, the largest IT company in all of Croatia, will celebrate that same birthday next year.

That’s not all, in Croatia, there are even older domestic technology giants. Combis, the largest system integrator in Croatia today, is part of the Croatian Telecom (Hrvatski Telekom) group, and the next big celebration for that company is 30 years of doing business, as it was founded back in 1990. In that same year, the company Rasco, the only Croatian company that manufactures cars on a serial basis and had developed its own electric vehicle, was founded.

Back in the now distant 1990, the very first McDonald’s in Russia was opened, the largest digital rights organisation, Electronic Frontier Foundation, was launched, and a match between Dinamo Zagreb and Crvena Zvezda took place at Zagreb’s Maksimir Stadium. What happened at that match became infamous, and signaled just what was set to errupt in the following years in Croatia and the rest of the region. Ivan Franičević, the co-owner and director of Rasco says that he’s proud that his company is now close to celebrating its 30th birthday. He emphasised the fact that from the outset, the founders of Rasco had a vision to create “a strong technological company that produces advanced, globally competitive products within our region”.

“This creates opportunities for the development, growth and the advancement of a new generation employees, and such a vision doesn’t come with an expiration date, because it’s based on creating opportunities for highly educated professionals who come from this area and who want to continue to live here live,” said Franičević.

“We don’t want to remain alone in that, but we certainly want to be around for a long time,” Franičević emphasised. The launching of Croatian start-ups continues to rise, and this trend will likely accelerate, but it is evident that today there are many Croatian technology companies that have successfully outpaced their start-up roots, and are now thinking of some new challenges.

Tomislav Car from Infinum says that today, the biggest challenges are because of the rapid growth, employment and the maintenance of high quality. “When we were smaller. we had more employment problems, now it’s much easier for us, but we still have our main focus on maintaining quality as we grow,” said Car.

Silvio Kutić from Infobip says that it’s still somewhat unbelievable to him that he managed to create such a global story from here in Croatia, and that today his company’s biggest challenge is at the global level.

“Infobip currently has one major competitor, a Silicon Valley company, worth 20 billion dollars, it’s surrounded by talent from around the world and is today’s strongest IT company. Although Infobip is number one in the world by the number of transactions and the number of people who using our platform, we’re second in terms of revenue, for now,” Kutić said, adding that Infobip’s employees, their expertise, and their devotion to their work have made it possible for this Croatian company get to where it is today.

He says they have managed to create and nurture a special culture in a company “where everyone has a chance to make mistakes, try new things, learn from them, and progress.”

“At Infobip, employees have the opportunity to work on global projects with the world’s largest companies and thus work to shape today’s communication,” said Kutić.

He added that today, it’s a challenge to attract talent, given the fact that this Croatian company is obviously not located in the center of the Silicon Valley in the USA. “Our CPAA (Communication Platform as a Service) industry is very large, it’s extremely specific, the products are complex, it’s changing rapidly and throughout the years it has been challenging to hire people with the expertise we need,” Kutić said, noting the fact that they have designed programs such as the Infobip Academy in Vodnjan and the Learning & Development department, which now has about ten people in it.

Ivan Franičević from Rasco says that the biggest challenge for them is to make sure they don’t accidentally ”eat themselves” during their quick growth as a company.

“With accelerated growth, there’s always a danger that the organisation and its mode of operation can’t be followed, that the company, along with all of its growth, becomes ineffective in terms of its internal organisation and processes, thus destroying its competitive advantage, which is also the basis of its growth,” said Franičević.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia and business pages for more information on Croatian companies, Croatian start-ups, Croatian products and services, Croatian investments and much more.

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