Source: Twitter / @ Bitcoinbeach
El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has become the talk of the crypto town, but some national experts have raised the alarm about the clause in his new bitcoin (BTC) bill that stipulates that merchants must accept BTC as payment when requested by a customer.
Particularly troubling, they claim, is his insistence in a recent live online question-and-answer session that “if there is a lady selling fruit on the market, she is obliged to be paid in bitcoin,” with only the promise of a government fund that will. Convert BTC payment to USD as backup.
But one detail many critics have been reluctant to discuss is the fact that a small community of Salvadoran “fruit sellers” and the like have been operating in a fully BTC-powered economy since early 2020, albeit with no shortage of support from foreign technology. businessmen.
As reported last year, the Bitcoin Beach project, which operates in El Zonte de El Salvador (population 3,000), received support from an anonymous donor and a San Diego resident who “spends up to nine months of the year volunteering in El Zonte “.
But the project claims that it has seen the entire local community adopt BTC, both for shop settlements and payments for bus services and youth participating in garbage disposal projects.
Bitcoin Beach investors, who also make use of solutions powered by the Lightning Network, have injected BTC-powered funds into another nearby town called Punta Mango.
According to La Prensa Gráfica, Bukele said:
“De-dollarization would solve nothing. What [estamos] trying to do is attract investors to our country. “
Perhaps cryptocurrency investors, and on a larger scale than El Zonte investors.
The president recently retweeted a post that claimed that the founders of Bitcoin Beach had “planted the seed of [la adopción de BTC] in El Salvador years ago. “
Bukele and his political allies have kicked the door wide open, and some have already expressed a tentative interest in passing.
ElSalvador.com, the editor of the newspaper El Diario de Hoy, reported from El Zonte, where it says that 35 merchants are now accepting BTC payments, on their mobile phones.
The media quoted a cafe owner named Rosalina Franco, 54, who explained that her adventure began at the end of 2019, when “some young boys came to eat here and told me about this coin.”
“Before they came, I had never heard of bitcoin.”
Franco added that during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, his business and others in El Zonte “stayed afloat” thanks to the support of BTC from Bitcoin Beach.
Franco claimed that accepting BTC allowed her to increase sales, as tourists have remained interested in the idea of instant payment, helping her increase supplies and hire more staff.
However, Franco is not entirely a HODLer. He stated that his strategy with his BTC earnings was to “be patient” and wait for BTC prices to rise before exchanging his tokens for dollars at a local Bitcoin ATM.
Regardless, the media stated that “foreigners who come to surf at El Zonte and some locals” find it “easier” to pay for local specialties such as pupusas (a popular grilled cake) using BTC, and that people like Franco they are happy to please. .
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