Could Greece be the New Go-To For Fintech in Europe?

December 2, 2016         By: Steven Anderson

These days, Greece is more often regarded as one of those places mentioned with a bit of surprise that it actually still exists as a country.

With massive financial upheaval and problems perhaps best described as “terrifying” by most, the place once best known as the “cradle of civilization” is perhaps now better known as “a disaster area.”

However, there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye, and many are wondering if Greece might ultimately be the new spot for fintech development.

Interestingly, Greece has a fairly thriving tech market. There’s a 40 percent rise in card transactions in the region since July 2015, and it’s actually number 56 on the list of top 60 places in the European Digital City Index.

That makes for plenty of well-educated Greeks who have an understanding of tech issues and the business issues that supplement these issues, making it a prime target for tech development. Throw in some impressive cultural heritage and landmarks and Greece becomes not only a noteworthy tech hub but also an interesting proposition in terms of places to live.

Plus, there are specific advantages; recently, a society for startups in the region started up, and is bringing in more and more interested users. The first seed accelerator in the country has also provided some help with resources, which few businesses can really start without.

Additionally, what may also tip the balance in favor is that Greeks were often spotted using fintech as a means to work around some of the country’s economic problems. Some projections figured that bitcoin would really take off in Greece as the possibility of complete collapse loomed.

While that really didn’t happen—at least, not so much as some projected—it did sort of plant the seed that fintech could ultimately serve as a means to keep an economy rolling even when the government was asleep at the wheel. It’s almost a private-sector equivalent, and that connection to fintech’s real power could make Greece philosophically suited to fintech development.

A hungry and ambitious workforce, a worthwhile infrastructure, and a cultural heritage stretching back millennia makes Greece a prime target for most any business, but with its special connection to fintech, that may be the most suitable effort of all.