Checking in on El Salvador’s Bitcoin Project

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Nelson Rauda Zablah: In El Salvador, Bitcoin Is Nothing More Than Authoritarian Propaganda

In El Salvador over the past year, many members of the global crypto community have cheered on President Nayib Bukele’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender while largely ignoring his dismantling of democratic institutions over the past three.

Not dissimilar to how conservatives in the U.S. talk about Trump, but I digress.

A large number of the president’s messages about Bitcoin are in English because they are designed for Bitcoin believers, not the Salvadoran people, even though the project is funded by taxpayer money. Salvadorans know this, too. A December national poll showed that only about 11 percent of respondents believed the main beneficiaries of the Bitcoin law are the people, while about 80 percent believed it’s either the rich, foreign investors, banks, businesspeople or the government.

I continue to be skeptical of crypto payments because basically every attempt to mainstream them has either been a bunch of bluster over nothing (see all the companies who are “about to accept bitcoin payments in X months” but never actually do) or a hint of the old faux-populism like this.