In mid-February of this year, US bitcoin entrepreneurs and journalists, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert, announced the launch of “El Zonte Capital”, an investment fund with which they seek to help El Salvador achieve “hyperbitcoinization”, a term used to represent the intention to turn the first cryptocurrency into the only economic value system.
In an interview with “Diario El Salvador”, the crypto investors explained that at the moment their focus is on finding bitcoin-based startups, which they intend to finance this year with a fund of $10 million. As they explained, the objective is to place capital in ambitious ventures so that one or several become unicorn companies, that is, those that reach a valuation of $1,000 million without having a presence on the Stock Exchange.
“We have already invested in almost 20 companies in the world, and at least seven of these have become unicorns, including Kraken, – one of the largest US cryptocurrency exchanges. We have experience in it and we have met incredible entrepreneurs here in El Salvador, “said Keiser.
For his part, Herbert explained that the initiative has the support of firms such as Bitfinex, which provide educational support and bitcoin training. In addition, he stated that the application sectors they explore are diverse, but they are very interested in bets related to technology education.
“In El Salvador they have a lot of capital that is coming in, there are many entrepreneurs, but at the moment they don’t have the education system of universities like Stanford. For this reason, part of our mission is to bring education to the ecosystem as quickly as possible”, declared the businesswoman.
The selection process of the startups that will be financed is subjective. According to bitcoiners, with their experience in 2013 and 2014, they understood that the metrics to previously determine who would be successful and who would not do not exist, so their evaluation consists of observing the talent and motivation of the entrepreneur.
“With El Zonte Capital, our goal is to make hyperbitcoinization reach the entire country, Central America, and Latin America. We hope to help the president’s (Nayib Bukele) vision of El Salvador being the center of capital and excellence. The country only needs 10 or 20 talented young engineers to start a revolution,” added Herbert.
More investments from Max and Stacy
The investment of bitcoiners in the country, in addition to “El Zonte Capital”, has been made in Galoy Money, a company that offers financial services using bitcoin and Lightning and that launched the Bitcoin Beach wallet in El Zonte, in La Libertad; They have also placed funds in the Samson Mow company called «Jan 3», which has been incorporated as a Salvadoran company.
On the other hand, entrepreneurs have started an initiative related to solar-powered bitcoin mining operations with an initial investment of $4 million, which could start construction in mid-June. All the people working on this project will be Salvadorans, according to Max.
“It is the first private bitcoin mining project in the country. It is a test concept; it is with solar energy, but also with hydroelectricity. We want to see how efficient it is and how it works, and from that we will be able to provide a large part of the financing for it, “said Stacy.
Finally, in other bets that do not have to do directly with bitcoin, they plan to build a hotel in the territory with an investment of $50 million, and they are looking for locations. “It will be a hotel where bitcoiners like us want to go,” Herbert said.