Did you miss the impromptu public address of El Salvador president Nayib Bukele to the Crypto Twitter nation? El Salvador’s Bitcoin Laws make history with BTC as legal tender for the first time in the world.
More than 22,000 Bitcoiners joined an impromptu global gathering to contemporaneously discuss the passing of the #BitcoinLaw making BTC an official legal tender in El Salvador on Twitter today, including an impromptu visit by the president of El Salvador himself, Nayib Bukele.
The law was passed with 62 out of 84 votes in favour, making history with El Salvador as the first country in the world to make BTC legal tender, giving it the same legal and commercial standing as the US dollar.
The law will require all businesses in El Salvador that are able to accept BTC to do so, in any transaction, large or small. BTC will be instantaneously convertible to USD via a $150 million dollar trust fund set up by the government, that will buy BTC from small businesses who don’t want to take the risk of holding it.
Breaking Crypto Twitter
History was made in more than one way today, when Twitter spaces, an audio meetup competitor to Clubhouse, blew out from 5000 listeners to 22,000+ listeners within minutes of Nayib Bukele joining the room and being invited as a speaker, leading to Caitlin Long, a host, fearing that the group had “Broken Twitter.”
Nayib Bukele used the platform to directly address Bitcoiners all around the world, peer to peer so-to-speak, and express his gratitude for their pioneering, and his vision for the future including decentralization, innovation, technology-driven prosperity, and new hope for world prosperity, to an eager and diverse audience.
Not About the Money
When asked if he was concerned about opposition to the proposed legislation, Nayib Bukele said “ We live in a free country so people can oppose it. But a lot of people will support this.”
The reason why Nayib Bukele counted, correctly as it turns out, on the law being supported, is that El Salvador’s move to legislate BTC as legal tender “isn’t just about money.”
“I think that there’s a lot of support. Adding BTC as legal tender will lure a lot of innovators and talent. We aren’t just talking about money, we are talking about talent, technology and fresh new ideas. It’s already here and is coming more and more day by day. More access to technology, more access to finance, is good for the worldwide community. Everybody has to support it and and should, it’s good for humanity.”
The purpose behind the law is to “lure innovators, entrepreneurs and talent,” to El Salvador, expressed Nayib Bukele. “This isn’t for rich people only, this is for everybody.” Nayib Bukele regards Bitcoin Beach and Nic Carter as vital trailblazers in Bitcoin adoption in local communities. However, Nayib Bukele sees his role, and the role of El Salvador, as trailblazing the way for adoption at the nation-state level. “The community can benefit from Bitcoin, and now we will demonstrate how people can benefit on a country-wide scale.”
A Future Kids Dream About
Nayib Bukele was asked how he came to be a supporter of bitcoin.
“We are all big believers in the future. When I was a kid I remember thinking about the future. Flying cars, beautiful buildings, no problems because of technology, and everything is interconnected. There was no hunger, no diseases. Now I talk to young people and ask them about the future. They won’t talk about flying cars and shiny buildings and no hunger they will talk about nuclear war, pests and climate catastrophes.”
“When did our future change from something so beautiful to something so dystopian? We have to remember we build our own future, the future’s not imposed on us. We build our own future so why limit ourselves to a dystopian future if we can build the future we dreamt of when I was a kid?”
“So I can think that Bitcoin has been the main crypto in the world it solves a lot of problems… Bitcoin as a technology is the future, it solves a lot of things, it’s been well thought out and supported by a lot of people who want a better future.”
“We want not only to support but also to demonstrate that the world can benefit from it. It’s not only a country anymore, but El Salvador is also a symbol for what Bitcoin can do and there will be an outpouring of a lot of new technology.”
“If we can change our future, then we will see other countries’ futures change. We will see a lot of countries’ futures changing and that will build a better society. And that is one of the things that we all have to get behind because we have to build the future for humanity and we have to accept the new and accept the not so good futures that the world is heading towards and that we can change that.”
“So Bitcoin is an important part of it and will be a great example.”
Nayib Bukele doesn’t describe himself as a Bitcoin holder or see himself as making BTC legal tender in order to pump his own bags. “I think this will be a huge game-changer not just for El Salvador but for the world. And People might laugh because it’s a small country, but it doesn’t matter, it’s happening, it’s going to change a lot of things, and it’s beautiful to be part of something that is changing things for all of humanity.”
“It’s beautiful to be part of something that is changing things for all of humanity.”
A Case for Liberty
People won’t have to use a government-stipulated wallet to use BTC as legal tender in El Salvador. Any crypto wallet will be accepted, although the government will be building and providing its own wallet for people to use that is completely optional.
“People can use any wallet that you want. There is going to be a government option, a wallet developed by the state but that is going to be an option.”
“It’s going to be as free as possible. All the new technologies that are going to be developed are going to be available for all of the other countries. There’s not going to be any restriction on the use of BTC other than that it’s for legal things.”
Bucking the global government trend that calls for more regulation, Nayib Bukele expressed how whilst BTC can be used for illegal activities, so has been the US Dollar, and any legal currency for that matter.
“Being free is not a synonym for being bad. I don’t know who made that definition, because being free is as good as it gets. The main thing isn’t the wallet, the main thing is the use of BTC as legal tender in the country.”
An Equal Opportunity
Nayib Bukele recognised that when it comes to adoption, not everyone is able to access the same level of technological advancement. Thus, the El Salvadoran government will be proactive in assisting small businesses and individuals to reach adoption, even to the point of providing the average person with smartphones and resources for using crypto-wallets.
“We will help people with technology and connectivity, we will replicate that on a wider scale so anyone could be selling fish in the market and you aren’t in any financial sector right now so you will need people who come and help you with a phone and an app to help you join and benefit from this. The government will do this proactively to benefit the people who don’t have a smartphone or internet connectivity.”
As testimony to how the modern world works, with a global spontaneous conversation on Twitter forming the catalyst for an entire country’s economic advancement, a question from the hosts offered Nayib Bukele a new opportunity to see mining BTC as a potential for El Salvador.
“Every day a new idea, yes, we will do something to promote minding,” said Nayib Bukele on the fly. “We have geothermal energy here, that is energy from volcanoes, and 100 per cent clean and renewable, and we have produced that energy since 50 years ago.”
“Right now we lose a lot of energy by transporting the energy from geothermal plants to cities, so on outskirts of plants we want to promote industrial parks where you can set up your factories and receive 100 per cent renewable energy, and we want to do that not because of Bitcoin but because people want to invest in factories with no carbon footprint.”
“If someone listening wants to set up a Bitcoin mining farm with zero emissions and cheap energy you can do it right there because of very cheap energy. So probably someone wants to set up mining with cheap renewable energy. Every day that passes new ideas come out!”
Protection from Volatility
Nayib Bukele understands that not everyone will share the same certainty in BTC and that people with the most to lose shouldn’t be at risk of its volatility. The answer will be a $150 million trust fund, that the government administers so that all small transactions in BTC are instantly convertible to USD.
If you are paid in BTC in El Salvador, you will be able to access the option to have the BTC converted to USD in the USD value you were initially paid at. So, effectively, El Salvador has a fund to buy $150 million USD in BTC in microtransactions in the coming months.
El Salvador, Nayib Bukele says, will establish a trust fund, and buy Bitcoin from transactions done by people who don’t want to take the risk.
“A lady who sells fruit in the marketplace and doesn’t understand or want to risk her savings or the risk implied in using bitcoin, but is mandated if she has the technology to accept Bitcoin to sell her fruit. So what we are going to do is if she is using the wallet she can opt-out so that if she takes the BTC she takes the money in USD, and so we will buy the BTC at the price she valued her food, not the price valued at the market.”
“We transfer the risk to the government. This risk might turn into a profit or a loss for the government. So trust fund will be supported by some losses and some gains, and we might lose some money or earn some money, but the purpose of the trust fund is to support the decision to support BTC as legal tender and the trust fund allows us to absorb the risk of small merchants who don’t want to take a risk and doesn’t involve the Federal Reserve or even our Central Bank.”
Entrepreneurs and Talent
Who, after reading this vision for the future, doesn’t entertain the idea of moving to El Salvador, where we can be part of building this new, positive and transcendent future for humanity? Well, the good news is that if you invest a minimum of 3 BTC in El Salvador, you will automatically qualify for Permanent Residency under the new laws.
See you in El Salvador!
Akasha Rose is Communications Director for Sheesha Finance and Slogging Community Manager @Hackernoon
Sheesha Finance (https://sheesha.finance/) is the leading DeFi mutual fund allowing for premium cryptocurrency portfolio diversification and rewards. Sheesha Finance rewards investors of any size, from small to large ticket holders, with unlimited DeFi tokens from a diversified portfolio of projects. Sheesha Finance’s easily convertible assets can be freely utilized to maximize rewards and gain exposure to existing and upcoming DeFi projects, solving locked crypto inaccessibility in DeFi. With plans to become a member-managed decentralised autonomous organization (DAO), Sheesha Finance is dedicated to upholding full transparency and integrity within the DeFi space.