Some people would argue that Nayib Bukele, by making Bitcoin a legal tender, played a gamble to save the decaying economy of his motherland. There are many who would hit back and say Nayib was right and just made crypto-currency a currency for regular use.
Some accepted El Salvador’s young president was visionary, others rejected his understanding of Bitcoin’s volatility. Protestors took to the streets over fears of instability while crypto enthusiasts flew in to celebrate.
There were tales of everything from new economic opportunity to fraud. Whether someone likes it or just despises it, El Salvador’s big gamble led by Bukele has added another shiny feather onto Bitcoin's crown.
On September 7, 2021, President Nayib Bukele declared Bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador. Now we are celebrating Bitcoin Legal Tender 2nd Anniversary.
Has the Gamble Paid Off?
The results are mixed. El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption spurred global interest and investment in the country. Tech-savvy entrepreneurs flocked to San Salvador, the capital city, hoping to build Bitcoin-based businesses. Tourism increased as crypto enthusiasts visited to experience the world’s only ‘Bitcoin Nation’.
However, the rollout was bumpy. Many Salvadorans were skeptical of Bitcoin and preferred the dollar, the country’s former sole legal tender. Merchants complained that the value of Bitcoin was too volatile to set prices. And in 2022, the value of Bitcoin plummeted over 60%, highlighting the risks of adopting such a speculative asset.
Despite the challenges, proponents argue that Bitcoin has unlocked economic opportunities for many Salvadorans. Through a partnership with digital wallet Strike, El Salvador developed a remittance system that allows Salvadorans abroad to send money home instantly via Bitcoin with no fees - isn't it already a major win.
Read More: "If Winter Comes, Can Spring Be Far Behind?"
On the one hand, Bitcoin adoption in El Salvador remains limited. According to some surveys, only 8% of the population has used Bitcoin for payments. The elderly and those in rural areas especially struggle with the technology. Many businesses also don’t accept Bitcoin only because of its volatility.
However, Bitcoin has brought some benefits too. El Salvador’s tourism industry received a boost as crypto enthusiasts flocked to the country. The government also launched an official Bitcoin wallet called “Chivo” that provides $30 in free Bitcoin to citizens. Remittances, which make up 20% of El Salvador’s GDP.
Next Move for Bitcoin in El Salvador?
Now that Bitcoin has been legal tender in El Salvador for two years, where does it go from here? Here's the answer.
- Recently, El Salvador announced to introduce Bitcoin education into its public school curriculum by 2024. Visionary!
- El Salvador is developing a Bitcoin city. Interesting!
- Technology innovation will be exempt from any form of Taxes. Awesome!
- Bitcoin mining with renewable energy. No more debate please!
- Economic Advisor is a Bitcoin journalist. Bitcoin Boss!
Above mentioned innovative approach of Nayib Bukele, Our Mr. Bitcoin, is just a beginning to a very long list. No matter how much anti bitcoin army checks him, he is just...... You Decide!!!
In a Nutshell
So a couple years in, has El Salvador’s big bitcoin bet paid off? It’s hard to say definitively. While the government touts the success of their bitcoin rollout, the reality seems a bit more mixed for average Salvadorans. If you’re tech-savvy and willing to deal with the volatility, you may have benefited from some crypto gains or the tourism boost. But if you’re struggling in El Salvador’s fragile economy, bitcoin probably hasn’t done much to directly improve your life.
The truth is, two years isn’t really enough time to fully judge the success or failure of such an ambitious experiment. Crypto is a rollercoaster, and bitcoin’s future is anything but certain. Still, you have to applaud El Salvador for embracing innovation and taking a risk on something new - they saw an opportunity and went for it. The bitcoin law may not end up changing the world, but at least they had the guts to try. For that, El Salvador deserves some credit and let time decide if their big gamble ultimately pays off.
As Always Thanks for Reading
Read one more interesting Article👇👇
follow me on Twitter @hodlxpress