On September 7, 2021, El Salvador made headlines worldwide by becoming the first country to pass a groundbreaking Bitcoin law, officially recognizing the cryptocurrency as legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar.
This historic move, spearheaded by President Nayib Bukele, promised to revolutionize the nation’s financial landscape, and so far, signs suggest Bitcoin is building a presence domestically with restaurants, shops, and even hotels accepting Bitcoin payments.
President Nayib Bukele’s vision for El Salvador was clear: harness the power of Bitcoin to boost financial inclusion, attract investment, and reduce the costs associated with remittances. The law was met with both excitement and skepticism, though any rumors the move would cause the country to default have proved exaggerated.
As have claims that El Salvador would waver on its commitment to Bitcoin as a technology due to its ongoing decline from its 2021 highs.
So far, in 2023 the nation has unveiled a series of initiatives aimed at strengthening its support for Bitcoin, these have included:
- Appointing ‘Bitcoin Standard’ author Saifedean Ammous as Economic Advisor
- Attracting new residents to the site for its proposed Bitcoin City
- Eliminating income tax and capital gains on technology innovations
- Granting licenses to Bitcoin and crypto exchanges including Bitfinex and Binance
- Implementing Bitcoin education in every public school
- Opening “Bitcoin embassies” in key international jurisdictions
- Launching Bitcoin developer education programs at universities
- Starting new Bitcoin mining operations powered by renewable energy
- Vowing to add 1 BTC a day to the national treasury.
In addition, President Bukele has remained a champion of Bitcoin, touting the increased tourism that the initiative has brought the country, as well as fighting back against claims by the IMF that the initiative has negatively impacted its economy.
In short, the world continues to watch with great interest as El Salvador navigates its path as a global cryptocurrency pioneer. Time will tell if more nations will follow suit.