At home, the Basque Bitcoin is born

Aitor López de Aberasturi works at home. In the lower inset, an illustration of an etxeko.

The Alava Aitor López de Aberasturi creates the first electronic currency in Euskadi, although at the moment it does not pursue economic purposes, but educational purposes

Mikel Madinabeitia

Euskadi already has its own Bitcoin. It is called Etxekoa and it was created by a man from Alava, Aitor López de Aberasturi (Alegria-Dulantzi, 1973). Although at the moment it does not pursue economic, but educational purposes, its creator does not rule out that this cryptocurrency will take hold tomorrow. In fact, he has a phrase that sounds like a premonition: “In ten years, 80% of purchases will be made with digital currency.” Will the Basques do it with Etxekoa? Or will we do it with Bitcoin, as El Salvador already does?

But what is a cryptocurrency? They are a type of currency that is used to buy products and services, like any other currency, but that only exists in the virtual world. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to be traded: it was in 2009 and its value was approximately one dollar. Since then, its price has risen and multiplied like no other value on the Stock Market.


Cryptocurrencies are a type of currency that is used to buy products and services, like any other currency, but that only exists in the virtual world

Cryptocurrencies are not issued by any monetary authority, so they do not follow any regulations or base their value on assets or reserves in banks. Economics experts warn of the volatility of cryptocurrencies, whose value can change rapidly in a very short time and also cause millions in losses.

And what is Etxekoa? The word comes from the initials and the end of ‘Euskadiko Txanpon elektronikoa’. With the choice of the word, the author, always restless with new technologies, tries to give it a local and close approach. “On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the search engine, even before Google, I wanted to do something special and it occurred to me to create a local cryptocurrency.”

Blockchain technology

Etxekoa currently has no real market value and was born as an educational project that aims to bring blockchain technology and the use of cryptocurrencies closer to Basque society. One of the uses to which Etxekoa is intended is the following: on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the search engine, gifts will be offered and only Etxekos holders will have access to them.

The initial idea of ​​the project is to give 100 Etxekos free of charge to users who request it. At the moment, a “thirty people” have been registered, mostly from the Basque Country. In the future, the use of Etxekoa may be very broad and it will be open to Basque society in general.


It is a free service and, at the moment, there is no business model behind

López de Aberasturi emphasizes that the main objective is that “people install the metaMask (the wallet) and have cryptocurrencies. If then they want to buy Ethereum, another famous cryptocurrency, and see how they revalue, great. My intention, for the moment, is not to operate. I don’t want to give it value. In other words, it is a free service and there is no business model behind it.

López de Aberasturi ends with a certain joke remembering that he was born in 1973, the same year of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the creators of Google. “I created a search engine a year before, the three of us studied Computer Science and the number of our checking accounts were similar, only they had the zeros on the right and I on the left (laughs)”.

The first Bitcoin store opens in Donostia

Are you interested in the topic of Bitcoin? Do you hear it more and more frequently in your closest environment? Are you having trouble really understanding what it means? Well, you’re in luck because Donostia has just opened its first store in this regard. It’s on Hernani Street and it’s called BitBase. An establishment where they can advise you on cryptocurrencies and also where you can exchange your Bitcoins for euros by bank transfer. They can also buy other cryptocurrencies. With your QR code and the alpha numeric code, in the store they scan it and send your cryptocurrencies to your wallet. An astonishing trend for many, especially the elderly, but one that is making its way in an increasingly digitized society. To the point that there are already some businesses that allow you to pay with this type of cryptocurrency.

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At home, the Basque Bitcoin is born