The distinct orange hue of Bitcoin decorates the halls of a capital city hotel on this Tuesday, as over 1,000 enthusiasts of the cryptocurrency, including users, entrepreneurs, and investors, gather for the commencement of “Adopting Bitcoin 2023.” This event aims to showcase the progress of cryptocurrency adoption worldwide, with a specific emphasis on the development of the Salvadoran ecosystem.
During the first day of this event, various conferences unfolded on the stages of two of the organizing companies, Bitfinex and Galoy, with a focus on highlighting projects that have emerged in the past year, involving firms and organizations operating within El Salvador.
Javier Bastardo, Bitfinex’s ambassador, shared insights into the initiatives his company has undertaken. These initiatives include providing funds to local entrepreneurs in municipalities like Ilopango and supporting educational projects such as “Mi Primer Bitcoin” and “Torogoz Dev.” He also highlighted the economic and social progress in recent years, making the nation more appealing to tourists.
“El Salvador has revolutionized the world with Bitcoin for two years now. The country is making significant strides in various ways: increased tourism, shifting perspectives from organizations like the International Monetary Fund, and even hosting Miss Universe,” remarked Bastardo.
Reyna Chicas, a Salvadoran who is now part of “Mi Primer Bitcoin,” led a presentation sharing her experience of educating young students from public schools about cryptocurrencies. She explained how the previous edition of “Adopting” had transformed her perspective on development.
Local entrepreneurs like Guillermo Contreras, CEO of the fintech company Ditobanx, showcased their efforts in bringing financial services to those excluded from the traditional banking system. Additionally, specialized conferences on Lightning network product development were presented by Evan Kaloudis, Philip Hoenisch, and Nicolas Burtey.
It’s worth noting that many Bitcoin firms already based in El Salvador, along with members of the Asobitcoin association, set up stations to introduce their services.
Later in the day, Bitfinex unveiled its documentary, “Don’t Trust, Verify,” which delves into crucial aspects of Bitcoin adoption in El Salvador.
Michael Jarmuz, a conference attendee and administrator at Lightning Ventures, a company investing in Bitcoin-related ventures, shared his perspective. He stated that this was his third visit to El Salvador, and he first learned about the country through news about cryptocurrency. Now, he returns with the goal of discovering more startups.
“This is my third time in El Salvador, my third time at this conference. If it weren’t for President Nayib Bukele and Bitcoin, I might never have come to El Salvador or even found it on a map. Bitcoin tourism and everything they have done to make it a secure place has been fantastic. I love being here. I’m not a surfer, but I’ve been to El Zonte, El Tunco, resorts, San Salvador, and I’ve fallen in love with the country. It’s a great place; it’s fantastic. My wife and I live in Miami, so it’s quite convenient for us to visit. I hope to come every year,” he added.
“I work in Bitcoin, I invest in Bitcoin companies, so it’s always great to meet the owners of the companies I’ve invested in in person and catch up with them. I’m also looking to discover new companies seeking funding,” he concluded.