Ljubljana Crypto payment hotspot with a beautiful life.

Ljubljana, Slovenia is a city with a contrasting crypto scene. It has a high score for grassroots crypto activity such as per-capita crypto jobs, companies, and events, but a low score for crypto adoption on a national scale. However, Ljubljana itself has a top-10 quality-of-life score, making it one of the top 15 crypto hubs. For more information on the criteria used to rank these hubs, see the article “How We Ranked blockchain’s Crypto Hubs 2023: Our Methodology.”

Despite being relatively unknown, Ljubljana has become a popular destination for cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Slovenia, a small country with a population of just over two million, has experienced significant crypto activity, particularly in the development of crypto retail payments. Ljubljana is home to the nonprofit Blockchain Alliance Europe and the Slovenia Bitcoin Association, as well as a number of firms creating crypto infrastructure, such as Eligma, which does business as GoCrypto.

GoCrypto has created a checkout system that offers both crypto payment options and credit card processing, making it easy for retailers to accept crypto payments. This strategy has resulted in hundreds of retail locations, bars, and other venues in Ljubljana accepting crypto payments. The city is also home to the BTC Company, which has a conveniently-named BTC City shopping complex that serves as a testing ground for the GoCrypto point-of-sale system.

Despite his involvement in the global crypto movement, GoCrypto CEO Dejan Roljic has decided to stay in Slovenia because he believes the quality of life is excellent. Slovenia is physically beautiful and has a fast-growing reputation as an advanced, sophisticated nation. It is also an EU member with a notable standing, having joined in 2004 and being the first former Yugoslav republic to do so. Additionally, close to 70% of Slovenian adults speak English, according to 2011 data.

Slovenia’s most notable achievements come in the fields of architecture and philosophy.

These stunning photos of Ljubljana resemble scenes from a Wes Anderson movie, with vibrant colors and intricate design. While exploring the city, you may even have the opportunity to meet Slovenia’s most well-known philosopher, Slavoj Žižek (pronounced SLAH-voy ZHEE-zhek). Žižek’s career began with analyzing complex works by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Jacques Lacan, but he has since become a prominent political commentator and host of a series of documentaries with provocative titles that stimulate the mind. One resident, Roljic, even found himself sitting next to Žižek in a dentist’s waiting room, proving that Ljubljana is indeed a small city.

However, living in central Ljubljana comes with a high cost of living, comparable to Western European cities like Berlin and significantly higher than nearby Belgrade. But, data from Nomadlist.com shows that life outside of central Ljubljana is cost-competitive with places like Mexico City and even Bangkok, where English is not as widely spoken. So if you’re searching for a crypto hub with a more relaxed atmosphere than the hectic lifestyles of the U.S. or Asia, and with a bit more pioneering spirit than you would find in France or Germany, Ljubljana may be the perfect place for you.

Edited by Jeanhee Kim and Daniel Kuhn.