Well, folks. Some people thought this day would never come, and some people KNEW this would happen. But now, it’s official: the first country in the world to make Bitcoin legal tender is officially upon us, as El Salvador officially makes Bitcoin legal currency in the Central American Nation as of September 7th, 2021.
The President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, is the first leader of a nation who has pushed his country to implement Bitcoin as a legal currency, and blowback has been both swift and unforgiving from the likes of the International Money Fund (IMF). Knowing El Salvador is now writing it into law that Bitcoin is “currency” in the country, the IMF is threatening to withhold funds from El Salvador to the tune of more than $1 BILLION USD. So, surprisingly, many people in El Salvador are yet to take to the idea of Bitcoin and there is still much room for further adoption to occur as more residents obtain education about the benefits Bitcoin can provide.
Bitcoin did have a miniature “crash” on September 7th, falling from around $52,000 USD per BTC to around $47,000 USD per BTC as of the time of this writing. Did El Salvador adopting Bitcoin as currency in the country cause Bitcoin to crash, and are people less bullish on Bitcoin now that a smaller/”third-world” country is the first to implement the “Bitcoin Standard?” Skeptics would like you to believe this is the case, but Bitcoin bulls think there is no relation and prices are destined to rise soon regardless of what happens. Although it’s impossible to say if El Salvador’s news had any impact on the Bitcoin prices or not, it does make you wonder.
Like anyone in a leadership position will tell you, it’s not easy being the boss most of the time…and Nayib Bukele is find this out first-hand right now with the Bitcoin implementation across El Salvador. Many resident are unsure of what Bitcoin can do for them, many are unsure if they want to risk the volatility Bitcoin can present, and many people are rejoicing. That’s what is great about this issue-it forces people to talk about Bitcoin, whether fans or critics/skeptics, and this development is certainly a historic and significant one for the Bitcoin Network.
So, while some residents of El Salvador have raised the alarm regarding Bitcoin, and while some are saying there are simply greedy businesses looking to capitalize on El Salvador’s situation, there has also been robust praise among the Bitcoin Community regarding El Salvador’s decision.
For example, in El Zonte, El Salvador, there is a place they like to call “Bitcoin Beach,” which works to be the world’s first “bitcoin-only economy.” At the “Bitcoin Beach,” it’s a sure thing celebrations were plentiful on this historic September 7th, 2021, day.
Also, amongst the Bitcoin community congregating on social media-there was a massive movement organized to ensure masses of people all went out to buy at least $30 of BTC on September 7th, 2021, in celebration of the date’s historic nature.
And, really, why would the people of El Salvador not be excited about today? For one, El Salvador getting to be a trendsetter and first-mover is great publicity for the country. Let’s be honest…how often do/did you talk about El Salvador before today? Probably not too often, right? Well…that’s the beauty of Bitcoin. It can create positive change for many and can create freedoms many only can dream of at the moment.
If ever there were a country that could benefit from implementing Bitcoin as a legal currency, it is certainly a place like El Salvador. Why? Because a vast majority of residents in El Salvador are either receiving currency from family working abroad in places like the United States, or they are sending currency to family. With traditional fiat currency like US Dollars, transaction fees and remittance fees eat up a significant portion of the money being sent by persons in different countries like a family with 1 person in El Salvador and 1 in the USA, for example. With Bitcoin, there are not any remittance fees and transaction fees are absolutely minimal.
So, while there certainly is great benefit for residents of all countries to utilize Bitcoin—you can see why there is an extra incentive for countries like El Salvador to implement a “Bitcoin Standard” immediately because it can be a great benefit for the residents who can save vast amounts of money by sending funds across borders to loved ones via Bitcoin rather than via wire transfers or traditional bank transfers.
To help promote Bitcoin usage amongst the population of El Salvador, the government is promising to give every resident up to $30 of BTC to enourage usage of a digital wallet app called “Chivo” which promises to be a great tool for users, potentially, although the system did experience many complaints and issues in the first day actually running…so time will tell about Chivo, but-let’s be clear-Chivo is not Bitcoin and Bitcoin can certainly thrive in El Salvador and everywhere else also, regardless of how people acquire their Bitcoin. Bitcoin stands alone, and Bitcoin stands strong for good reason.
According to Reuters, the people of El Salvador sent home almost $6 billion from abroad last year alone, mostly from the United States. This sum of $6 Billion USD is roughly equivalent to nearly 23% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Based upon these numbers, it sure make you think there is a lot of benefit for the residents of El Salvador-and of every other country-to start using Bitcoin. Don’t pay banks any fees and pay cents to transfer your money, rather than paying outrageous fees. Plus, Bitcoin represents freedom for so many and this is something the people of El Salvador are embracing more and more each day as Bitcoin become more and more well represented.
Only time will tell how El Salvador handles Bitcoin, but time will certainly look back on this historic day as the start of something very significant. If you are a fan of Bitcoin, then you should be rejoicing today because September 7th, 2021, is going to go down in history as one of the most significant moments in the history of money.
Now that El Salvador has legalized Bitcoin as official currency, it seems certain many more countries-and eventually the world-are to follow. All Bitcoiners, all “hodlers,” all Bitcoin Miners, and even those who do not own Bitcoin yet-everyone needs to sit back to celebrate this moment because it could be the first time a country makes Bitcoin legal tender, but it most certainly won’t be the last.
Congratulations to El Salvador, and Happy “Bitcoin Day” to all you Bitcoiners out there.