Dania Gonzalez, deputy from the Republic of El Salvador, was recently in Brazil to reveal her country’s experiences with the decision to adopt Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender. Gonzalez’s invitation to Brazil came from digital influencer Rodrix Digital, who was recently in El Salvador to produce a documentary about cryptocurrencies.
Among the activities of the legislator in Brazil was participation in Bitconf 2022, in addition to meeting with the CEO of Dape Capital Daniele Abdo Philippi and Ana Élle, CEO of Agência ROE.
Among his agendas, Gonzalez spoke with Cointelegraph and revealed how Bitcoin has helped change people’s lives in El Salvador and how the federal government, led by President Nayib Bukele, has been leveraging the resources invested in BTC to improve the economy.
El Salvador just bought the dip!
500 coins at an average price of $30,744 #Bitcoin
— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) May 9, 2022
Asked about El Salvador’s investment in Bitcoin and how it could impact people’s lives as the value of BTC is falling, Gonzalez highlighted that every investment has a cost and a benefit.
“What Nayib Bukele did was buy Bitcoins and 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. , this happens, it’s normal, but in this moment instead of being sad, instead of thinking that you lost all your investment, it’s time to buy more Bitcoins because now the price is cheap, this is the strategy.”
According to Gonzalez, El Salvador is already benefiting from investments made in Bitcoin; she cited two ventures — a veterinary hospital and a public school — that were made possible by cryptocurrency. She explained:
“Bukele built a veterinary hospital to benefit the population where services, any service for your pet, costs $0.25. Even an operation costs this amount and is accessible to the entire population. with the reserve we have in Bitcoin, we should build 20 more schools. Before Bitcoin, for this we had to approve projects, include it in the nation’s general budget and use the people’s money for construction. Now these works are done thanks to all the profits made with Bitcoin.”
Gonzalez indicated that Bukele’s strategy has already proven to be successful in terms of socio-economic impact.
“This is the main reason why the president also buys Bitcoins,” she said. “He does this to be able to generate profits for social projects for the people […] This is not just words, it is something tangible for the population because they can see part of the public services being carried out thanks to Bitcoin profits.”
Cointelegraph also spoke with the lawmaker about central bank digital currencies, also known as CBDCs, and how their issuance by nations could affect the cryptocurrency market.
Gonzalez stated that he sees no confrontation between cryptocurrencies and CBDCs, believing that both should coexist together in the digital ecosystem that will guide nations in the future. Furthermore, she stated that the proposed issuance of CBDCs by countries shows that they have understood the power of the crypto economy.
Related: CBDC Activity Heats Up, But Few Projects Go Beyond Pilot Stage
The deputy also highlighted that El Salvador is working to expand the effects of the Bitcoin Law and will build an ecosystem based on cryptocurrencies, with the elimination of taxes for sectors linked to the crypto-economy.
In addition, she highlighted that other laws will be reformulated to meet the new demands of the digital economy and reduce bureaucracy in public administration procedures. She explained:
“We want it to be possible to open a business in 5 minutes here in El Salvador […] We already have a national digital wallet system for cryptocurrencies and we intend to make a law so that investors from all over the world can have immediate citizenship in El Salvador if they invest in the world of Bitcoin in our country.”
El Salvador’s financial inclusion conference has central bankers screaming Bitcoin, literally.
On the 3rd, the 44 central banks and financial delegates in attendance took a trip to the country’s iconic El Zonte or “Bitcoin Beach”.
(Reporting by @JoeNakamoto) https://t.co/xkpdtEzrt4
— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) May 20, 2022
Bitcoin changes people’s lives
Gonzalez also revealed to Cointelegraph that the adoption of Bitcoin as a legal tender has attracted investors and companies from around the world and strengthened the independence of merchants and local communities from banking monopolies.
“This opened up an opportunity for independent merchants to have a new payment gateway, because the payment channels could be cash or credit or debit cards,” she said. [point of sales] to accept credit or debit payments, 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 funding, there is no commission if you use the national wallet,” she explained.
Another direct benefit cited by the deputy is related to financial remittances made by Salvadorans living in other countries, such as the United States. According to Gonzalez, there are 7 million Salvadorans living inside El Salvador and about 3 million outside its borders, mainly in the United States.
Thanks to Bitcoin, remittances from the United States can be done without fees, she said. Gonzalez also claimed that Western Union lost about $400 million in remittance business last year because of El Salvador’s Bitcoin Act.
Bitcoin Beach and Surf City
Gonzalez revealed details about his country’s Bitcoin Beach and Surf City projects, both of which are carried out in the El Zonte region. In them, Bitcoin is used as a form of social transformation that promotes cryptographic payments and economic development through digital assets.
And all the central bankers screamed…. pic.twitter.com/MxdOrYD3lc
— Bitcoin Beach (@Bitcoinbeach) May 20, 2022
she explained it Bitcoin Beach existed before the BTC law was passed. At Bitcoin Beach, “you can buy a soda or a “Pupusa”, a typical El Salvador food, on the street or go to a prestigious restaurant and pay with Bitcoins”.
Related: El Salvador’s Bitcoin Play: What Does the Current Drop Mean for Adoption?
The deputy also revealed that a project called Surf City in El Zonte is underway, which seeks to empower the local community to take advantage of surf-related tourism, as the beach has some of the best waves for the sport.
“These communities now benefit from job opportunities in companies or in hotels and restaurants that now have more potential than before, now more tourists come to El Salvador because […] they can pay whatever they want with Bitcoins,” she said. “I know companies that came from Singapore a few months ago and now have around 50 Salvadorans working in their operations. This shows how Bitcoin is changing people’s lives in El Salvador.”
In addition, the deputy highlighted how Bitcoin has been favoring the unbanked who now, through cryptocurrency, can access financial services without the bureaucracy of traditional systems:
“Traditional banks excluded 70% of the country’s population from their services for various reasons. high taxes. Now Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are favoring this excluded population that now has power and opportunity.”