Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/21/bitcoin_on_a_roll_in_spain/

Bitcoin prices spike on Euro woes

Spanish citizens hiding their currency under the bed

By Richard Chirgwin

Posted in Financial News, 21st March 2013 22:16 GMT

The well-publicised idea that Cyprus could pinch ten per cent of all local savings accounts to help pay for its government's budgetary woes seems to have sparked a rush of interest in the crypto-currency Bitcoin.

According to Bloomberg, Bitcoin apps are soaring up the download charts in Spain, of all places, based on BGR reports that the iPhone Bitcoin Gold app cracked the Spanish top-100 to position number 72, while Bitcoin Ticker leapt from the five hundreds to number 52.

Bloomberg quotes ConvergEx strategist Nick Colas as saying “If you want to get a good sense of the stress European savers are feeling, just watch Bitcoin prices.” However, he added, it's only good for small amounts: “The liquidity is just not there in the system for multimillion dollar transactions”.

Zerohedge wrote on Wednesday that “the value of the virtual currency has soared almost 30 percent in the last two days”, from €37 to over €50, with volumes rising as well.

Back in America, Bitcoins are attracting greater regulatory attention, with Ars reporting that the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network says Bitcoin exchangers must comply with anti-money-laundering laws.

If enough Euros flow into the crypto-currency, El Reg would expect regulatory notice from Brussels to arrive sooner rather than later. ®