What can you do with Bitcoin in Latvia?

In Latvia, you can use Bitcoin to buy a car, immovable property, build a house, or even fly somewhere with Latvia's flag-carrier airline airBaltic, reports LTV's Forbidden Methods (Aizliegtais paņēmiens) on January 23. 

While Latvia is not exactly known for its cheap electricity, there are in fact people who mine Bitcoin and related currencies hereabouts.

LTV met a young man in a Riga working-class neighborhood. He has turned his apartment in an old khrushchyovka into a Zcash mine. It is a cryptocurrency separate from but related to Bitcoin.

He doesn't want to delve into detail about his personal life, but says he has three mining computers he bought for about €10,000. He said he pays €300 in electricity each month, and that he would like to install another computer but that his power line does not allow it.

He says he exchanges the Zcash he has mined to Bitcoin and then cashes it in. 

"I earn about €2000 a month on the average," he says. His income is tied to the fluctuations in the cryptocurrency market. 

The Capital hardware company says interest into so-called mining hardware is quite high. "It is, however, dependent on the price indexes in the cryptocurrency market. But basically the interest is unceasing. We've got orders to fill all the time," says Capital representative Aigars Bērziņš. 

Such computers start at €1,700 apiece, he says. 

But what can you get for your coin here in Latvia? 

As reported, back in 2014 airBaltic became the first airline in the world to sell tickets for Bitcoin. The company does not assume any risk itself, as it employs an intermediary for converting Bitcoin to cash and then paying euros into airBaltic's coffers.  

Meanwhile there are cars being sold for Bitcoin on the ss.lv classifieds website, while the city.lv real estate website sells housing for the cryptocurrency.

"We had a client, an owner of immovable property, who wanted to sell it. He wanted to sell it specifically for cryptocurrency.. There was interest from several potential client, but the deal hasn't gone through," said Vestards Rozenbergs of the Baltic Sotheby's International Realty.

The Rīgas fasādes construction company has also claimed it accepts Bitcoin, but its head Ivars Sveile told LTV it's more of a marketing strategy and, while there are currently no Bitcoin buyers, the company would use conversion services such in the case of airBaltic if Bitcoin-savvy clients were to appear. 

While the Bitcoin blockchain technology company BitFury, founded by several Riga residents in 2011, is currently worth approximately $400 million, the company said late last year

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