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Swedish Bitcoin pizza restaurant at risk of going under

One of Sweden's only crypto-friendly pizza places sees a 90% drop in revenue since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak and is facing bankruptcy just weeks before Bitcoin Pizza Day.

Sweden, like many other countries around the world, has been seriously hit by and is fighting the consequences of the coronavirus flare-up counting more than 3,866 currently active COVID-19 cases in the country and 146 deaths.

However, the local government did not rush to implement any strict control and lockdown procedures, unlike the majority of affected countries. Instead, Swedes are following more relaxed guidelines that encourage working from home if possible, avoid socializing and wash their hands often and properly, while most businesses are operating as usual.

Ariana, located in Kungsholmen in the Swedish capital of Stockholm, is one of the very few restaurants in the country that accept cryptocurrencies as a payment option and is one of these businesses still working as normal. Unfortunately, with its revenue have fallen by 90% since opening in January, the Bitcoin pizza restaurant is at risk of shutting its door for good.

The restaurant owner Sekander Islamzai reminisces how at lunchtime the restaurant would have between 40 and 70 guests, and now they are down to a maximum of 15 customers. As the restaurant and hotel sector has seen a significant decrease in guests, the Swedish government has begun offering financial aid to struggling businesses, including crisis packages, to help reduce payroll tax and rental costs. However, Islamzai does not seem to show much optimism about it:

“We were able to run the business on the money we used to bring in, but since our revenue is down 90 percent, it is no longer sustainable. The measures that have come from the government help, but if it does not bring money into the cash register it will not work”.

The pizza restaurant is planning to present a special menu for the crypto community on the Bitcoin Pizza Day on May 22, and Sekander Islamzai is keeping his fingers crossed that online sales through food delivery apps and donations will keep the place going until this special occasion.

Bitcoin pizza day refers to the day back in 2010 when a programmer Laszlo Hanyecz purchased two large Papa John’s pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins, an amount that would be currently worth $63,830,000. It is considered to be the first purchase of a product with bitcoin.

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