Robert Steinadler, a year ago
El Salvador is not the only country in the world that adopted Bitcoin as currency. Last month the Central African Republic was making its own move to adopt the Bitcoin standard but is still facing issues. It was today when President Nayib Bukele announced that a Bitcoin conference will be held in San Salvador between officials of 44 countries.
Is this the beginning of something bigger and will other countries follow the footsteps of El Salvador?
One of the biggest problems for developing countries is that the majority of the population is unbanked or has only very limited access to banking and financial products. Lacking financial infrastructure has a huge impact on each country’s economy and comes at high costs.
Bitcoin is offering financial inclusion by cutting out the middleman and effectively putting a bank in everyone’s pocket. It can be a great stimulus to the economy and even enhance the remittance of international transactions.
The conference will be El Salvador’s opportunity to discuss the implications when adopting Bitcoin and making it legal tender. While the country did everything in its power to roll out a Bitcoin infrastructure including the opportunity to swap between US-Dollar and BTC anytime, many Salvadorians are still trusting cash over crypto.
The majority of countries that are going to take part in tomorrow’s conference are from Africa but there are also several countries from South America that are going to participate. Notable delegations come from Pakistan, Egypt, Ecuador, and Nigeria.
A heat map showing particpating countries in tomorrows conference. | Source: Bitcoin-Kurier
Participants will consist of 32 central banks and 12 financial authorities according to President Bukele. While it is clear that Bitcoin will be discussed it remains completely open if these countries will adopt Bitcoin. The IMF has repeatedly criticized El Salvador’s decision and has warned that Bitcoin could have a negative impact on the country.
Bitcoiners on the other hand have pointed out that the IMF is just using its power to increase Dollar hegemony and that most of the concerns that were brought forward by the IMF have been already addressed in the past. It seems that if a country is willing to adopt Bitcoin it has only a few or no other options left to change things for the better. While the IMF is engaging to help developing countries it seems that they are never going to leave their status which is causing a spiral of other problems.
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