During September 2021 El Salvator formally started accepting Bitcoin as legal tender and continues to be on the forefront of the move to mass crypto adoption. Today, President Nayib Bukele announced that Bitcoins presence in his country is so prolific that the number of citizens using digital wallets has outgrown those that have traditional bank accounts.
During the initial stages of the transition to Bitcoin as a legally accepted currency, the Central American nation was the target of heavy criticism. Many leaders around the globe warned El Salvador that there would be monetary consequences of his country’s foray into digital currencies. President Burkele doubled down in the face of doubt and cited the large portion of his country’s populace without access to any form of a banking system, over 70% at the time, as his main motivation for supporting the switch to Bitcoin.
The transition to Bitcoin was not immediately seen as a victory by the citizens of El Salvador as protests, some violent, arose in opposition to Bitcoins adoption, but things quickly changed and the country and its people have rapidly seen the benefits of adopting Bitcoin as a financial tool to empower the masses.
El Salvador has ramped up its efforts to add additional features to its Bitcoin network and has already deployed hundreds of Bitcoin ATMs. The country has also been aggressive in buying any dips to Bitcoin’s price, adding over 800 Bitcoins when the valuation fell into the $30k-$40k range. Bitcoin’s price quickly recovered from the previously stated lows allowing El Salvador the financial flexibility to redistribute its earnings to construct new schools and hospitals while improving its infrastructure.
Other countries around the world have taken notice of El Salvador’s approach to take its financial future into its own hands via digital currencies and are quickly taking notes. While other nations are adding the ability to blend cryptocurrencies into their existing financial ecosystems, El Salvador remains the prime example of the benefits that Bitcoin can have as a vehicle to re-engineer the finances of an entire country.
As most of the world’s superpowers continue to show their support for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a whole, it’s entirely possible that more nations decide to follow suit with El Salvador’s strategy of building wealth.
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