Bitcoin: The Enhancer of Tourism and Investment in El Salvador

A year ago, the Bitcoin Law made its debut, a regulation that put El Salvador in the eyes of the world as being an innovative and revolutionary bet in financial, technology, and investment terms.

Crypto investors such as Max Keiser or Simon Dixon have stated that El Salvador has stopped projecting itself abroad as «a country with high rates of violence» and is now called «the bitcoin country».

This statement is supported by the fact that the approval of the law represented a call for investment for the large cryptocurrency companies in the world and a business opportunity for Salvadorans who were already working in the technology sector.

According to data from the Central Reserve Bank (BCR), 59 companies have registered as bitcoin service providers, which generate jobs and have managed to develop an ecosystem with accessible financial solutions for Salvadorans.

Among those registered to provide services with bitcoin, in addition to the government wallet Chivo Wallet, are exchange houses, known as exchanges.

Some entities registered as exchange houses are Paxos, Paxful, Eleos, Bitpoint, Oggo Exchange, and Koibax, while other registered providers provide the service of bitcoin custodians.

These firms have already made investments in the country and continue to develop proposals to bring financial inclusion to Salvadorans. In addition, other companies have announced million-dollar operations in the territory.

In this scenario, asset management companies like Bank To The Future are looking to set up operations in El Salvador soon and bring in $6,000 in capital invested in their platform. With this, it seeks to be the starting point of a «Wall Street» of bitcoin.

Similarly, a Swiss consortium led by a Salvadoran has committed $200 million to building a photovoltaic plant in the country that will not only supply energy to the national grid but will also be used to mine bitcoin.

But not only have crypto companies approached the country; the Invictus Investment group also announced that it will make an investment of $1.2 billion to build three hotels in El Salvador. The investors of the project assured them that bets such as bitcoin and Surf City motivated them to bet on El Salvador.

More tourism with bitcoin

In the last year, international tourism has grown exponentially in El Salvador. A report by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) ranked El Salvador among the 15 countries that have exceeded their income from tourism and is the first in the region with positive numbers between January and May of this year .

According to President Nayib Bukele, bitcoin and surfing have leveraged the sector and allowed the arrival of foreign visitors. Many have visited the country-they have even bought residences-curious to live the experience in the «country of bitcoin».

Education

Among the bitcoin education spaces are the Casa del Bitcóin, which has hosted more than 1,000 people; «My First Bitcoin», which has developed new projects such as a bitcoin diploma that has graduated two public school classes with more than 90 students; and «Torogoz Dev» which educates dozens of national developers.

Remittances

The Central Reserve Bank (BCR) reported that remittances have already broken the $100 million mark, one year after the Bitcoin Law came into force. Between September 2021 and June of this year, Salvadorans transferred $120.5 million in remittances through crypto platforms to their relatives.

Donations

Bitfinex and other anonymous bitcoiners decided to donate funds to support entrepreneurs and social initiatives in Ilopango, Soyapango, and Apopa, as well as in Nueva Concepción, in Chalatenango. In total, the donated capital reaches $2 million for all of El Salvador.

Innovation

Since June 9, El Salvador has had its first physical gallery of non-fungible tokens (NFT), a project that strengthens the crypto ecosystem that has been developed in the country since bitcoin was approved as a currency. It is legal tender and opens opportunities for Salvadoran artists.