I want to tell you about an article by Colin Harper published on BitcoinMagazine.Com.
Colin Harper's story concerns an American citizen, Michael Peterson, who 14 years ago decided, by virtue of his love for surfing, to move with his partner to El Salvador (a small corner of paradise in Central America famous for its beaches on the Pacific Ocean and, in fact, to be particularly suitable for surfing).
Initially the couple, as Harper explains in his article, is limited to dividing between El Salvador and California, the state of which they originate, however over time the periods that passed in Central America became increasingly longer and, in the end, there they moved completely.
In 2017 the turning point came, a charity contacts Peterson after receiving a bitcoin donation, asking him what they should do with it; the donor, who had bought a mountain of bitcoin with his hands down when he was still priced at only $ 0.05, was looking for a way to spend his wealth and immediately turned to philanthropy as it was a great way to spend a part of its gigantic capital.
Peterson, therefore, decides to meet the donor but, to his surprise, having gone to California again he discovers he has an appointment with an intermediary; the reason? The true donor is very attentive to his privacy and prefers to remain anonymous; not bad, in any case, because from that meeting one of the most interesting experiences among those that I personally have had the opportunity to discover in recent years will be born.
The anonymous donor, in fact, was not simply interested in philanthropy but intended to take advantage of the opportunity to strengthen the adoption of bitcoin by helping to create a real parallel economy, thus following up on the real reason why bitcoin was born; thus was born the Bitcoin Beach project.
Led by Peterson himself, the project aims to reduce poverty in the eastern coastal area of El Salvador, between Punta Mango and El Zonte; the interesting thing is that while anyone would have just distributed some rain satoshi to the local inhabitants, Peterson decides to follow a different path and tries to develop an alternative and circular economy powered by bitcoin.
The country, in fact, lends itself particularly well to an experiment of this type, only 10% of the population, for example, has a current account, while, on the other hand, almost half of the population has a smartphone in their pocket; all this has simplified life in Peterson, the local population, in fact, thanks to smartphones was perfectly in a position to use BTC and the inability to access bank accounts contributed to explode the interest of ordinary people.
After involving the merchants, involving them through the provision of small loans (a sort of microcredit managed in bitcoin) Peterson thought it well to involve the younger ones; Bitcoin Beach, at this moment, is paying a team of local teenagers in bitcoin to clean up the surrounding area, safeguard the beach or get good marks at school; It also supports four college students with a $ 50 monthly stipend paid in bitcoin.
Among other objectives, of course, to prevent young people from ending up being recruited by crime, encouraging them to attend school and to take root in the territory so that, once they become adults, they not only do not need to emigrate but are directly committed to contributing to the country's economic revival.
Peterson explained that Bitcoin Beach has currently involved about 100 new users, including 50 students, and that there are currently around $ 5,000 in bitcoin in the area; despite this figure, if compared to European standards, it may seem very miserable what in reality it is not if we consider that the average wage in El Salvador does not exceed $ 300 per month and that the minimum daily wage in the country is just 2.84 $ per day.
On the basis of these data, therefore, you well understand that giving $ 50 a month to four students means allowing those children to complete their studies in complete tranquility; of course, we are not talking about thousands of young people involved, but as they say in America "Rome was not built in a day".
Slowly the bitcoin adoption in the area has spread to more and more people and, today, in the village of El Zonte, for example, you can use BTC to pay for a haircut, a manicure, to eat in some local restaurants and, soon , you can also buy a cup of coffee or visit a doctor's office.
The adoption, therefore, continues to grow, slowly but progressively, so much so that BitcoinMagazine, after interviewing a local entrepreneur, Ms. Rosalina Franco (owner of a small grocery store), reports that the entrepreneur claims to have customers who pay in bitcoin every day; and how do you use bitcoins that Ms. Franco earns? To grow and further develop its business.
This shows how Peterson, bringing bitcoin to El Salvador, has created a virtuous circle that is now slowly deploying its beneficial chain effects.
More young people completing the course of study, less poverty, greater income for small entrepreneurs are the basis for growing the local economy, a fundamental aspect for reducing poverty in the area and, consequently, also reducing the problem of crime, which as reported by Peterson himself, is one of the main emergencies in the country.