The Growth of Digital Currencies in Western Balkan Countries during the Covid-19 Pandemic Period

Proceedings of ‏The 3rd International Conference on Future of Business, Management and Economics

Year: 2021

DOI:

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The Growth of Digital Currencies in Western Balkan Countries during the Covid-19 Pandemic Period

Ph.D. Ermir Shahini, Msc Elti Shahini

 

ABSTRACT: 

The impacts of Covid-19 have been bot negative and positive. While a significant portion of the economy has been affected negatively, the financial market experienced a major boost following increased digital currency transactions. The digital currency platform has registered significant gains during the Covid-19 pandemic has governments across the world formulated and implemented policies to discourage transactions in Fiat currency, which is considered a common way of spreading the virus. Governments in developing countries that are highly likely to be overwhelmed by the virus have taken key initiatives to encourage use of digital currencies such as crypto-currency in  directing financial institutions to waive their transaction charges during the pandemic, a move that has encouraged more people to adopt use of digital currency  The Western Balkan region has particularly experienced massive transformation of its financial markets, with digital currencies such as crypto-currencies gaining more in roads in the industry. Before the pandemic, many organizations in Balkan lacked the necessary infrastructure to support the digital currency framework. Western Balkan countries still lagged behind EU’s digital currency threshold. With the changes that have taken effect, Western Balkan countries have put in place the necessary resources required to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 by developing the digital currency platform. While cash may still be the most common method of payment, government financial policies adopted during the Covid-19 pandemic are fueling the culture of crypto currency. Using digital currency to complement other payment methods can fasten growth in the Western Balkan economies. These findings reinforce findings of numerous other studies that pointed to adoption of crypto-currencies being a major economic performance indicator. Thus, this paper will investigate the effects of Covid-19 on digital currencies in the last one year that the pandemic has been active, focusing on six Western Balkan countries; Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Bosnia, Albania, and Macedonia.

Keywords: Covid19, Western Balkan States, Digital Currency.