Saturday, December 3, 2022

El Salvador on the brink of bankruptcy over bitcoin divers

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Lined up like in a class photo, they laughed at the camera and yelled “Bitcoin”. But it wasn’t crypto nerds who gathered in El Zonte, a small beach town in El Salvador, in mid-May. No, none other than President Nayib Bukele (40) had invited – and high-ranking guests. Central bankers and representatives of the finance ministries from 44 developing countries, mostly from Africa and Latin America, did the honor and let Bitcoin fan Bukele guide them through the village.

They pulled out their smartphones at kiosks and let the magic of the digital currency happen via QR code. Because El Salvador was the first country in the world to allow Bitcoin as an official means of payment last September. Bukele’s message at the meeting was clear: his Bitcoin strategy is just the beginning of a global trend. At the “Davos for Bitcoins” he deliberately left unmentioned that the price crash of cryptocurrencies a few days earlier had cost his country millions of dollars.

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