Thursday, June 17

I’m from El Salvador and I’m here to clarify some things about the BTC adoption recently announced.


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Hello, I’m from El Salvador so I’d like to give you all some information that might help you clarify things. I posted this in another thread and made some slight edits.

First some info of the current zeitgeist in El Salvador:

The president’s party, Nuevas Ideas (New Ideas), was formed in 2018-2019 as a new alternative to the old bipartisan, marxist-left (FMLN) and ultranationalist right (ARENA) system that had controlled the government since the end of the Civil War in 1992. He won the presidential elections in 2019 with 52% of the vote (overwhelming majority) and just recently won the legislative elections in 2021 by a landslide (73% of the vote). That means that his party controls the Congress with 2/3 of the legislators, which are enought to pass any bill that they want, and in fact that’s what they’ve been doing.

His party is made up of mostly young professionals tired of the corrupt system that has kept the country poor and underdeveloped for the past 30 years. In just their first day in office they fired the Attorney General (who had been protecting other corrupt politicians) and 5 other magistrates, accused of being bought by the oligarchy to protect their economic interests. In just a month, the new Congress has approved unprecedented financing for education and infrastructure and has passed bills that make sure that the predatory economic elites that used to buy politicians in the past are kept in check. Many big infraestructure projects are expected to be approved by Congress soon, including the construction of a high-speed railway and a new international airport.

One of the biggest projects that the government is building is called Surf City, which is basically road, electricity and communications infrastructure along the coastline to help small businesses. In fact, for this very reason, the ISA decided to hold the World Surfing Games (which are happening until tomorrow) to qualify for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics in El Salvador. Bitcoin is already used by small businesses in this area, especially in El Zonte, which is one of the more popular beaches that gets a lot of international tourists.

I know most people used to have the notion that El Salvador was a dumpster fire, because we were. However, the country is going through huge change. Just yesterday the ex-mayor of San Salvador (the capital) was captured by the police and is awaiting trial for corruption and gang financing and also the ex-first lady was sentenced to 10 years in prison for money laundering. El Salvador is no longer on the top 10 list of most violents countries in the world (the muder rate used to be 12-15 homicides daily and has decreased to nearly 3-4 daily since Bukele took office) and our economy is expected to grow steadily too.

Bukele (39 years old) is extremely popular, with an approval rating of over 90% during his second year in office. Mostly due to this forward thinking. You can see this with the data related to the pandemic. El Salvador is the Central American country with the lowest mortality rate (due to a massive revamp of our healthcare system), the lowest number of COVID-19 cases and the fastest rate of vaccine applications, having just surpassed the 2 million mark. The government also just launched a project to give laptops to 100% of the students of the public school system. The country still has massive challenges to overcome but I’m confident we are on a very good path.

The adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender is HUGE news for this country. I assure you that Congress will pass this bill. I couldn’t give you an exact date, but the economics commission will probably receive all the papers this week.

I’ll try to answer any questions that you guys might have.

UPDATE: Most legislators have come forward saying they will back the bill.

UPDATE 2: I’m done for today but I’ll keep monitoring this thread.

Some useful links:

Bitcoin in El Salvador as of today:

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-G9cmff81fc](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-G9cmff81fc) (Spanish)

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VV0A_favrk](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VV0A_favrk) (Spanish)

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95tNWXADX14](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95tNWXADX14) (English)

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4XcHi_NXl8](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4XcHi_NXl8) (Spanish)

The Surf City project (which is where Bitcoin will most likely flourish):

[https://www.latimes.com/sports/olympics/story/2021-06-04/el-salvador-is-riding-the-waves-as-global-surfings-newest-mecca](https://www.latimes.com/sports/olympics/story/2021-06-04/el-salvador-is-riding-the-waves-as-global-surfings-newest-mecca)

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wna7x7O25lA](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wna7x7O25lA) (English)

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aznk1VSpqHA](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aznk1VSpqHA) (English)

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29 Comments

  • cenaluc

    You have the USD as ufficial currency over there right?

    I wonder how the state intend to manage the very high volatility between the two assets. Did they have already a plan?

  • CornBreadW4rrior

    Do any of your vendors accept lightning payments, or Bitcoin payments? I’m totally curious what it might be like, maybe as a tourist. We go into a store and want to buy something. What system do they use, what system do I use.

    I’m fascinated. Thank you for posting.

  • shoorik17

    That was really interesting to read, thank you for posting. I have a few questions:

    1) do you live in the capital? What would you say is the average citizen’s familiarity with and perception of bitcoin?

    2) how do you think the average citizen’s life will change if/after this is passed?

  • KaelinSC

    Wow thank you for the informative write up! I am happy that so many young professionals who care for their country are pushing El Salvador to new heights and wanting to be forward thinking.

  • Yolocryptogame

    Sounds the ideal pilot project for adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender. Interesting times. There is a similar example in Estonia, where they became pioneers and models for electronic governance. This is all good news, hopefully not too good to be true

  • LucSr

    This is an interesting case to me. Do you know what is the plan for the government funding? I google its national debt and see an unappealing trend, knowing that bitcoin/crypto being legal tender may hurt the funding capability further.

  • Moon-walker-1990

    It’s great to have El Salvador in the news for the right reason, not like the old days. I’m proud!

  • tzrt55

    Make capital gains with bitcoin free or really cheap and you’re going to start seeing a LOT of people with a lot of money move there. Also make citizenship for foreigners payable with a certain amount of bitcoin or something similar and you’ll transform into a powerhouse.

  • swfsql

    I wish the best of luck for you!
    I just wanted to remind you that to spend money, anyone can do it. The real magic is on reducing tax and intervention, and I hope that this is the taken direction.
    Also, best of luck for enduring the probable USA wrath, and I hope that many other countries follow El Salvador in that path (i wish this were the case for Brazil, where I live..!)

  • QuentinP69

    Is the idea in using bitcoin an attempt to stabilize inflation and the economy? I don’t know what El Salvador’s monetary policy is, but couldn’t this help create a stable, incorruptible financial system?

  • MindlessBadger281

    Thank you for sharing- that’s really great news and I hope other countries follow suit

  • kitelooper

    Enhorabuena! me alegro mucho por vosotros, no tenia ni idea del gigante cambio politico y social que atraviesa El Salvador! Mucha suerte desde España!

  • UbyTuesday

    Thanks a lot for this. Many people have been reacting to this news with predictably ignorant responses calling Bukele a dictator and referring to the relatively low GDP of El Salvador, but they don’t realize how big of a step this is towards the possibilities of world adoption.

    Best of luck to you and your country.

  • wildlight

    fantastic news, hopefully El Salvador becomes a model for other countries to follow for bitcoin regulations.

  • Logan_Mac

    This is the kind of government that gets its president assassinated by the CIA for a made up controversy.

  • ArekkusuDesu

    Thank you so much for the write up and putting a context to this news. I’m from El Salvador also living abroad and follow closely the news from El Salvador. I see the changes happening in ES and I also believe the country is in the right path. Although there’s still so much to do, significant changes can already be perceived.
    This is big news not just for Bitcoin but for cryptocurrency adoption in ES. This should help people who can’t afford to have a bank account and even if they did, they wouldn’t be able to access their money since many small towns don’t even have ATMs or a bank branch. And small stores often don’t take debit/credit cards, due to POS terminals being too expensive to hire.

  • excelance

    Curious how your media has been treating your president. As an American, anytime someone in the US challenges the establishment they are raked across the coals. The media and politics are way to close here with bothers, spouses, and other close family members partnered within media and politics… thus anything that goes against the norm is vilified.

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