Saifedean Ammous becomes adviser to El Salvador’s National Bitcoin Office
Saifedean Ammous becomes adviser to El Salvador’s National Bitcoin Office
Bitcoin

Saifedean Ammous becomes adviser to El Salvador’s National Bitcoin Office

By Alessia Pannone - 31 May 2023

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It’s official: the author of the book “Bitcoin Standard,” Saifedean Ammous, has become the economic advisor to the National Bitcoin Office (ONBTC) of El Salvador, the first country where BTC has been recognized as legal tender. 

Below are all the details. 

Who is the new advisor to the National Bitcoin Office of El Salvador? 

As anticipated above, Saifedean Ammous, the author of “The Bitcoin Standard,” a well-known and popular book within the crypto industry, has become the new economic advisor to the National Bitcoin Office of El Salvador.

The news came in yesterday’s day with a tweet from the ONBTC that reads: 

Stacy Herbert, ONBTC director, later told Decrypt that Saifedean will work as a remote consultant: 

“adding another voice and opinion to the advice that the President receives as Bitcoin Country continues to grow rapidly over the coming months and years.”

The Austrian economist shared his opinion on the Bitcoin strategy adopted by the country in an interview with the local newspaper ‘Diario El Salvador,’ also laying out his proposals and goals regarding the matter.

Specifically, Ammous told the local newspaper the following: 

“I am confident that El Salvador will be debt-free in five to ten years. The country has great potential to be a hub of innovation.”

He also pointed out that some of the initiatives put forward by El Salvador‘s President Nayib Bukele, such as the adoption of a zero tax for technology companies, have made the country extremely attractive, unlike other nations that are adopting policies to the contrary. 

Although he did not specifically mention these nations, he may be referring to the recent debates on cryptocurrency taxation in the United States, the United Kingdom, Portugal, and Italy.

In any case, we do know that the National Bitcoin Office has confirmed that Ammous has agreed to serve in his new role as advisor to the president without requesting financial compensation.

Some details about El Salvador and Ammous 

We know that Ammous was in El Salvador to participate in CUBO+, a development program for those interested in learning the code behind Bitcoin and Lightning Network

As can be read in his interview with Diario El Salvador, Saifedean commented on the matter: 

“It is a great initiative: the development of skills in Bitcoin programming will help young people to position themselves in the future.”

On the other hand, late last year, President Nayib Bukele collaborated with well-known Bitcoin supporters Stacy Herbert and Max Keiser to create El Salvador’s National Bitcoin Office. 

Through the country’s Decree No. 49, this entity deals with all matters related to cryptocurrencies.

As we know, El Salvador has been a pioneer in its national cryptocurrency strategy, making Bitcoin legal tender in 2021 and introducing innovative Bitcoin bonds early last year.

However, reports on Bitcoin adoption in this small Central American country have been conflicting. 

Despite earlier signs of slow adoption, increased tourism this year appears to have boosted its uptake. 

The latest US regulatory decisions regarding crypto 

On Sunday, details were released of the agreement reached between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy regarding the US debt ceiling.

The agreement that was reached has effectively blocked some taxes proposed by the Biden administration, including excise taxes on Digital Asset Mining Energy (DAME)

If approved, this measure could impose a 30% tax on cryptocurrency mining companies. 

The Biden administration argued that this tax was necessary to mitigate the environmental and social impacts from these types of operations. 

However, this proposal is currently being blocked as part of the debt ceiling deal. 

As a reminder, the debt ceiling deal, which still has to pass several checks and disputes in Congress, is in the form of a 99-page comprehensive bill.

Specifically, it is aimed at suspending the nation’s debt limit until 2025, thus preventing a federal default while simultaneously imposing restrictions on government spending.

Instead, the proposed DAME tax would apply to both miners of digital assets operating on Proof-of-Work (PoW) networks such as Bitcoin and Proof-of-Stake (PoS) networks such as Ethereum, regardless of the significant difference in their energy consumption levels.

Under the proposed fiscal framework, miners of digital resources would be required to provide detailed information regarding the amount of electricity consumed and its source, regardless of whether it comes from renewable sources or not. 

In addition, they would have to disclose the corresponding value. This requirement would also extend to off-grid power generation, including the use of otherwise wasted natural gas.

Alessia Pannone

Graduated in communication sciences, currently student of the master's degree course in publishing and writing. Writer of articles from an SEO perspective, with care for indexing in search engines.

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