President Nayib Bukele said that the adoption of bitcoin as a legal tender allowed the state to carry out “rebranding”

​El Salvador’s tourism sector rises almost by two times after the BTC legalization

07.03.2023 - 09:45

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3 min

What’s new? El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele, in an interview with political columnist Tucker Carlson, spoke about the benefits his country’s adoption of bitcoin as a legal tender has brought. According to the president, the legalization of BTC has made the state much more attractive to travelers, increasing tourist flow by about 95%. Bukele also noted that a large number of bitcoin users want to visit El Salvador because of the crypto conferences being held in the country.

What else did Bukele say? Among the main pluses of the legalization of the first cryptocurrency, the president also highlighted the “rebranding” of El Salvador. The state was previously known as one of the most violent places on the planet, reaching a peak of 103 killings per 100 000 killings a few years ago.

Bukele also criticized the actions of central banks such as the US Federal Reserve (Fed), accusing them of devaluing people’s savings. In his view, consumers in the Western world have already realized that dealing with centralized financial institutions does not make sense, and will soon shift to the decentralized sector (DeFi).

The president noted the global spread of bitcoin and its potential to eliminate economic inequality, saying that the asset is popular even in countries where the authorities have previously banned it. Bukele stressed that BTC is uncensorable and impossible to ban.

Back in August 2022, Bukele noted the growth of tourist flow to the country, linking it with the legalization of BTC. Then the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) included El Salvador at the top of the most popular countries.

El Salvador and bitcoin. Since the legalization of BTC in September 2021, authorities have regularly purchased the asset. According to media reports, by early 2022, the investment losses amounted to $12 million. A year after legalization, 77% of citizens opposed spending the state budget to buy bitcoins, and the IMF refused to give El Salvador a loan. Beginning November 18, El Salvador began buying 1 BTC every day. That same month, the government created the National Bitcoin Office to manage the crypto projects.

In January, Bukele accused the media of lying about the country’s bankruptcy. The publications wrote that El Salvador would default on its debt because of BTC investments by early 2023, but when the country repaid the debt and the prediction did not come true, they did not highlight the fact.

In February, the authorities of El Salvador opened a bitcoin embassy in Texas. That same month, the IMF suggested that the state refuse to invest in BTC.

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