Despite being in his early 30s, Martin Mucha is already a successful Czech businessman in New York. Many locals may know Igluu, the real estate website he co-founded which claims to be the largest source of verified home listings in the Big Apple. Apart from looking into ways of expanding and innovating the company, Mr. Mucha also plays an active role among America’s Czech community. I recently had the chance to catch up with him and began by asking when he first decided to be an entrepreneur.
The growth in apartment prices in the Czech Republic is expected to come to
a halt this year, according to a survey carried out by the Association of
Real Estate Market Development, released on Tuesday.
Last year, prices of apartments across the country increased on average from six to ten percent. The highest growth rate was recorded in Prague. In the first quarter of 2019, the price of new flats increased by nearly a fifth year-on-year to 104,666 crowns per square metre. Since the mid-2015, prices of Prague apartments grew by nearly 90 percent.
Prague is a major hub when it comes to alternative cryptocurrencies. At the epicentre is a building known as Paralelní Polis, part of a project set up by the guerrilla art group Ztohoven and home to quite possibly the first café in the world where you could buy a coffee using cryptocurrency. Recently that café, Bitcoin Coffee, hosted a Do-It-Yourself market to help start-up companies and entrepreneurs of all stripes sell their products using a range of virtual currencies.
Tomáš Vymazal used the power in the apartment he receives as a Pirate
Party MP to generate cryptocurrency, the news site Aktualne.cz reported.
Mr. Vymazal’s activities were given away by a major rise in electricity
consumption at the flat. The lower house deputy, who is 28, said his
powerful computers had helped to heat up the cold property on Nerudova St.
However, Mr. Vymazal also apologised and promised to give the money he had earned from generating the cryptocurrency Zcash to charity.
Number of Czech internet stores accepting Bitcoins for payments has
increased tenfold over the past four years to around 1,000, the Czech News
agency reported on Sunday.
Among the shops that started accepting the digital currency is Czech largest online retailer Alza, which has also installed a Bitcoin ATM in two of its showrooms. Last year, the Comfort Finance Group CFG established the first Czech cryptocurrency fund.
Prague is undoubtedly a hub for the use of the alternative cryptocurrency Bitcoin. But Bitcoin is now very much at a crossroads as some of its technological flaws start to catch up. A sort of civil war has developed around its future development with, as the cliché goes, only likely to tell who the victor will be.
One of the most famous more recent quotes about the nature of money is by the fictional Baltimore drug dealer D’Angelo Barksdale in the US series The Wire: “Money be green…” he says, “money feel like money!”, reacting to a scam where a buyer has passed poorly counterfeited bills. Money feels like money… except when it doesn’t. Money of the future will no longer be bills and will not be the digital money of today, either. Scientists at Palacký University in Olomouc have demonstrated that in all likelihood it will be quantum, ultra-secure and impossible
Last month Jan Hubík became one of the first people in the Czech Republic to have a microchip inserted in his body, specifically his left hand. Indeed the 20-something student was the organiser of a group implantation at Paralelní polis, a futuristic Prague institution where all transactions are in the Bitcoin virtual currency. When we spoke at the café at Paralelní polis, I asked Hubík what kind of chip he had in his body.
Natalija Makovikova moved to the Czech Republic several years ago after being forced to leave her home country, Belarus, for political reasons. She settled in Prague and in 2007 launched a successful business project, a real estate agency selling castles. The VIP Castles company currently offers around 3000 castles and other historical buildings around the country for sale.