In an op-ed piece, Nayib Bukele, the president of El Salvador, which in September 2021 became the first country to make Bitcoin legal tender, said that despite claims by mainstream media and rating agencies, his nation is not failing because of its bet on Bitcoin.
As you may know, on 5 June 2021, Zap Solutions (a Bitcoin payments startup that uses the Lightning Network) Founder and CEO Jack Mallers announced at Miami’s Bitcoin 2021 conference that El Salvador’s government wanted to pass legislation to make Bitcoin legal tender (alongside the U.S. dollar).
During his talk, an emotional Mallers presented a recorded video message from President Bukele and read out a small passage from the proposed bill. Mallers went on to say that his firm would be opening an innovations centre in El Salvador with the help of Blockstream.
On 9 June 2021, this proposed bill got passed by the Legislative Assembly (with 62 out 84 voting in favor of it).
Then, on 25 June 2021, Reuters published a report that said El Salvador President Nayib Bukele had announced during a national address on 24 June 2021 that “Bitcoin Law” would become effective on 7 September 2021.
On 6 September 2021, President Bukele announced that his country had bought its first 200 bitcoins and they planned to buy “a lot more”.
Since September 2021, El Salvador has made 11 purchases of Bitcoin, with the country estimated to have bought a total of 2,381 bitcoins. The last $BTC purchase took place on 30 June 2022, when El Salvador bought 80 coins at an average price of $19,000.
Although some critics argue that El Salvador’s Bitcoin experiment has failed since the small Central American nation has unrealized losses on its Bitcoin investment, there are also Salvodrans who are very happy and proud that their country embarked on this journey.
Well, earlier today, Bitcoin Magazine published an op-ed piece written by President Bukele, in which he talked about those people who are criticizing El Salvador for betting on Bitcoin and said that despite all their tales of doom and gloom, his country is doing quite well, and that if “If El Salvador succeeds, many countries will follow.”
“… the most vocal detractors, the ones who are afraid and pressuring us to reverse our decision, are the world’s powerful elites and the people who work for or benefit from them…
“Just think about the hundreds, if not thousands, of articles about how El Salvador’s economy was supposedly destroyed because of its “bitcoin gamble”, about how we are inevitably heading to default, that our economy has collapsed, and that our government is bankrupt… Most of you have surely seen this, right? They’re all over. Every financial publication, every major news organization, every newspaper in the world, all the credit rating agencies, and all the international financial organizations are saying the same thing, as if they were in a choir…
“Well, you just need to read their articles and listen to their “experts” saying that all of this happened after El Salvador lost around $50 million because of bitcoin’s plummeting price on exchanges. Since we are not selling any bitcoin, this statement is obviously false… Yes, El Salvador is a relatively poor country, but in 2021 alone, we produced $28 billion in products and services. Pushing the idea that a $50 million loss — less than 0.2% of our GDP — would destroy or even put our country’s economy in trouble is far more than stupid; it is revealing…
“In 2021, our GDP rose 10.3%, income from tourism rose 52%, employment went up 7%, new businesses up 12%, exports up 17%, energy generation up 19%, energy exports went up 3,291%, and internal revenue went up 37%, all without raising any taxes. And this year, the crime and murder rate have gone down 95%…
“If El Salvador succeeds, many countries will follow. If El Salvador somehow fails, which we refuse to, no countries will follow.“
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