One country’s leader is betting big on bitcoin, promising that the cryptocurrency will join the U.S. dollar as legal tender.
President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador made his pledge to a very receptive audience – those attending Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami over the weekend – and said he was attempting to put into law the new currency.
El Salvador would become the world’s first country to so.
“In the short term this will generate jobs,” Bukele said, “and help provide financial inclusion to thousands outside the formal economy and in the medium and long term we hope that this small decision can help us push humanity at least a tiny bit into the right direction.”
As is the case with any useful rally, the El Salvador president’s appearance was enthusiastically preceded by a glowing introduction – with a vested interest included.
The digital wallet company called Strike figures to play a prominent role in bitcoin maneuverings worldwide, and its founder and CEO Jack Mallers already is working with Bukele’s government on the rollout preparations.
Mallers said Bukele’s video announcement was the “shot heard ’round the world for bitcoin.”
With up to 25% of El Salvador’s citizens living in the U.S. and sending money back home, the change to bitcoin could save them from paying millions to intermediaries.
And Bukele, Latin America’s youngest president at 39 and with a 90 percent approval rating, did the Tom Brady thing, too.
He changed his Twitter profile to show the “laser eyes” visage used by Brady, the Super Bowl-winning quarterback, when he referenced interest in bitcoin.
According to a Fox Business story, Bukele’s party holds a supermajority, so any bill proposed by the president likely. Bitcoin was last seen trading at about $39,400 per coin.