Dania Gonzalez, the deputy mayor of the Republic of El Salvador, was recently in Brazil to demonstrate her country’s experience of the decision to adopt Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender. Gonzalez’s bid for Brazil came from digital influencer Rodrix Digital, who was recently in El Salvador to produce a documentary on cryptocurrencies.
Among the legislators’ activities in Brazil were attending Bitconf 2022 and meeting with Daniele Abdo Philippi, CEO of Dape Capital, and Ana Élle, CEO of Agency ROE.
Between her speeches, Gonzalez spoke to the Cointelegraph about how Bitcoin has helped change the lives of people in El Salvador and how the country’s federal government, led by President Nayib Bukele, has used capital invested in BTC to improve the economy.
El Salvador bought the dip!
500 coins at an average price of USD $ 30,744 #Bitcoin
– Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) May 9, 2022
Asked about El Salvador’s investment in Bitcoin and how it could affect the lives of people where the value of BTC is falling, Gonzalez emphasized that every investment has costs and benefits.
“What Nayib Bukele did was buy Bitcoins and make a profit at a certain strategic moment,” she said. “In cryptocurrencies there are times when you can profit and there are times when you need to invest more. Now the cryptocurrency is down, this is happening, it’s normal, but at this point instead of being sad, instead of thinking that you have lost all your investment, then it’s time to buy more Bitcoins because now the price is cheap, that’s the policy. “
According to Gonzalez, El Salvador is already benefiting from investments made in Bitcoin; she cited two projects – a veterinary hospital and a public school – that were possible thanks to cryptocurrency. She explained:
“Bukele built a public hospital for the benefit of the public where services, all services for your pet, cost $ 0.25. Even surgery costs that amount and it is accessible to all residents. Bitcoin has been turned into a benefit for the people. Now with that reserve. we have in Bitcoin we have to build 20 more schools.Before Bitcoin did this we had to approve a project, put it into the nation’s budget and use people’s money for construction.Now this construction is done thanks to all the profits with Bitcoin.
Gonzalez indicated that Bukele’s policies had already proved successful in terms of socio-economic impact.
“This is the main reason why the president is also buying Bitcoins,” she said. “He does this to be able to make a profit for social projects for the people. […] These are not just words, it’s something tangible for the residents because they can see part of the public service being realized thanks to Bitcoin profits.
Cointelegraph also talked to the legislator about digital currency central banks, also known as CBDCs, and how their issuance of nations can affect the cryptocurrency market.
Gonzalez said she did not see a conflict between cryptocurrencies and CBDCs, believing that both should coexist in the digital ecosystem that will lead nations in the future. Furthermore, she said that the planned release of CBDCs from countries shows that they have understood the power of the cryptocurrency economy.
Connected: CBDC activity heats up, but few projects go beyond the experimental stage
The deputy also stressed that El Salvador is working to increase the impact of the Bitcoin law and will build an ecosystem based on cryptocurrencies, with the abolition of taxes for sectors related to the cryptocurrency economy.
In addition, she pointed out that other laws would be reformed to meet the new demands of the digital economy and to reduce bureaucracy in public administration. She explained:
“We want to be able to open a business in 5 minutes here in El Salvador […] We already have a national digital wallet system for cryptocurrencies and we are going to legislate so that investors from all over the world can immediately get citizenship in El Salvador if they invest in the world of Bitcoin in our country.
El Salvador’s conference on financial adjustment has central bankers shouting Bitcoin, literally.
Day 3 saw 44 central bankers and finance officials attending a trip to the iconic El Zonte or “Bitcoin Beach”.
(Announcement through @JoeNakamoto) https://t.co/xkpdtEzrt4
– Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) May 20, 2022
Bitcoin is changing people’s lives
González also told Cointelegraph that the introduction of Bitcoin as a legal tender attracted investors and companies from all over the world and strengthened the independence of merchants and municipalities from the monopoly of banks.
“It opened up opportunities for independent merchants to get a new payment gateway, because the payment methods could be cash or could be credit or debit cards,” she said. “But if you go to a bank and want to apply [point of sales] to accept credit payments or debits, you pay a membership fee, you pay a commission that can be up to 9% for each purchase. “
Bitcoin, on the other hand, “is fully decentralized financing, there is no commission if you use your national wallet,” she explained.
Another direct benefit that the deputy cites is related to financial payments from Salvadorans living in other countries such as the United States. According to the assistant, 7 million Salvadors live inside El Salvador and about 3 million outside the border, mostly in the United States.
Thanks to Bitcoin, payments can be made from the United States free of charge, she said. Gonzalez also claimed that Western Union lost about $ 400 million in foreign exchange transactions last year due to El Salvador’s Bitcoin law.
Bitcoin Beach and Surf City
Gonzalez unveiled information on the country’s Bitcoin Beach and Surf City projects, both carried out in the El Zonte area. In them, Bitcoin is used as a form of social transformation that promotes cryptocurrencies and the economic development of digital assets.
And all the Central Bankers shouted…. image.twitter.com/MxdOrYD3lc
– Bitcoin Beach (@Bitcoinbeach) May 20, 2022
She explained Bitcoin Beach existed before the BTC Act was passed. At Bitcoin Beach, “you can buy soda or” Pupusa, “typical El Salvador food, on the street or go to a reputable restaurant and you can pay with Bitcoins.
Connected: Bitcoin play El Salvador: What does the current slump mean for adoption?
The deputy also revealed that a project called Surf City is underway in El Zonte, which seeks to train the local community to take advantage of surfing-related tourism, as the beach has the best waves for the sport.
“These communities have now benefited from business opportunities in companies or work in hotels and restaurants that now have more opportunities than before, now more tourists come to El Salvador because they […] can pay for anything they want with Bitcoins, “she said.” I know companies that came from Singapore a few months ago and now have about 50 Salvadorans working on their business. This shows how Bitcoin has been changing the lives of people in El Salvador.
In addition, the Deputy emphasized how Bitcoin has been favoring non-bankers who can now, through cryptocurrency, access financial services without the bureaucracy of traditional systems:
“Traditional banks excluded 70% of Icelanders from their services for various reasons. In addition, of the 30% of the population who have access to financial services, only 23% were in banks and 7% through cooperatives with a very high rate. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are now in favor. to this excluded population that now has power and opportunity. “
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