Bitcoin Beach in El Salvador: city turned BTC testing ground
Bitcoin Beach in El Salvador: city turned BTC testing ground
Bitcoin

Bitcoin Beach in El Salvador: city turned BTC testing ground

By Stefania Stimolo - 11 Apr 2022

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Bitcoin Beach in El Salvador is the city of El Zonte, located on the coast, an hour from the capital, which since 2019 has started using the queen of crypto, becoming a testing ground for BTC

Bitcoin Beach in El Salvador: the story of El Zonte and the full adoption of BTC

According to an interview by CBS News, it seems that in El Salvador, the town of El Zonte has become famous for its Bitcoin Beach project, namely the place of full adoption of BTC.

Behind the project is Mike Peterson, an expatriate surfer from San Diego with a degree in economics who initially fell in love with the warm waves of El Zonte, starting its transformation into Bitcoin Beach from 2019. 

It all began with the donation of Bitcoin by an anonymous donor who made this gesture on the condition that the donated BTCs would not be converted into dollars, but used by locals, creating a true circular economy on Bitcoin.  

And so, Peterson, accepting the sum and the stipulation, began with his team to create the “Bitcoin Beach Initiative“, creating dozens of much-needed jobs in El Zonte, all paid in BTC. 

“We would hire them to do things in the community – collect rubbish from the river – and then pay them in bitcoin. So, they got into this rhythm of going to work and earning bitcoin.”

First shop in El Zonte to accept bitcoin was Mama Rosa’s, using a popular app called “Bitcoin Beach”, through which customers can scan a QR code to send BTC from their wallet to hers. 

To date, there are exactly 45 businesses accepting bitcoin in El Zonte

Bitcoin Beach of El Salvador and the officialisation of BTC as legal tender

Following with the interview, the story of El Zonte and Bitcoin Beach has attracted other American entrepreneurs to the territory, right up to the interest in the queen of cryptos by the government. 

“El Zonte, a small town in El Salvador, has become a major experiment in cryptocurrency. Sharyn Alfonsi reports from “Bitcoin Beach” on Sunday.”

In fact, following along with the interview, it appears that entering the El Salvador market was a certain Jack Mallers, a 28-year-old CEO from Chicago who developed an app called Strike, dedicated to overseas remittances using the bitcoin infrastructure known as rails

Strike’s app allows users to send US dollars across borders instantly, for pennies, challenging the Western Union giant. Its launch in El Salvador garnered one download a day, then 100 a day up to 200,000 downloads a day

This success led Mallers to be contacted directly by the brother of El Salvador’s President, Nayib Bukele. In practice, Mallers’ utopian bitcoin project led to ‘months of conversations with the government’, leading to the momentous episode: the officialisation of Bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador

Volcano Bond delayed until September

At the end of last month, the latest news about El Salvador was that the long-awaited Volcano Bonds, i.e. government bonds in Bitcoin, scheduled to be launched between 15 and 20 March, have been delayed until September

The reason for the delay is believed to have been prudence in launching this investment instrument, given the very high price volatility of BTC. 

Volcano Bonds have been described as an instrument that will revolutionise the debt market from what it is today. In fact, it would be a bet on the price of Bitcoin, used as collateral, to guarantee a yield of 6.5%, promising a dividend of 50% after 5 years. 

Despite strong scepticism from financial institutions, the Volcano Bond actually seems to already have over $1.5 billion in applications

Stefania Stimolo

Graduated in Marketing and Communication, Stefania is an explorer of innovative opportunities. She started out as a Sales Assistant for e-commerce, and in 2016 she began to develop a passion for the digital world, initially in the Network Marketing sector, where she discovered and became passionate about the ideals behind Bitcoin and Blockchain technology, which lead her to work as a copywriter and translator for ICO projects and blogs, and organize introductory courses.

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