S.C. Columbia Treasurer and Bitcoin supporter, Curtis M. Loftis, visited El Salvador and witnessed the positive and transformational impact of BTC

Loftis traveled to El Salvador with a group of business leaders, rural health officials, and individuals interested in the expansion of cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies. They saw a 10-week financial literacy program that included lessons on how to use bitcoin by Mi Primer Bitcoin NGO for daily transactions. Loftis stressed that he didn’t use state or SCETA funds to pay for his trip to El Salvador.

On Oct. 5-7, Loftis and others will discuss El Salvador’s economy and other emerging digital technologies during the S.C. Blockchain Conference at the Indigo Inn in Mount Pleasant. Hester M. Peirce, a member of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, is also scheduled to attend the conference.

Loftis said he found it interesting that many Salvadorans who don’t have bank accounts use bitcoin as part of their small businesses one year after the Central American country adopted bitcoin.

“After 100 years of modern banking, between 15% to 20% of the country uses bitcoin, and 80% of the people do not have bank accounts,” the treasurer said. He added that Bitcoin makes it easier and cheaper for Salvadorans abroad to send money home to their relatives.

Loftis was among five South Carolinians who met with the country’s finance minister and other government officials.

“They knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and they knew there were going to be missteps,” he said. “I feel confident they are going to do a fine job with it. Whether that is what (South Carolina) wants to do, I don’t know. What I’ve learned in El Salvador is that what the [critics] have been writing from New York, London, and Paris did not match what I saw in El Salvador. “