In the span of only a few weeks, El Salvador has gone from announcing its intent to make Bitcoin legal tender within the nation to passing the associated bill, and now announcing an official launch date for the endeavour – September 7th, 2021.
Providing there are no delays, September 7th would represent the 90-day mark from when Congress in the Central American nation gave its approval. This time frame holds true to what was initially expressed by El Salvador’s President, Nayib Bukele.
It has been noted by Bukele that while BTC must be supported by merchants with the capability to do so, citizens can use it by choice.
Not only has El Salvador announced its intent to make Bitcoin legal tender, the nation has also kickstarted various ancillary initiatives. The following are a couple examples of these.
In order to spur quick adoption of Bitcoin, Bukele recently stated that the government would be releasing a digital wallet known as ‘Chivo’. When downloaded, this wallet will come pre-loaded with $30 worth of free BTC for verified citizens of El Salvador.
What is unclear is whether Chivo will support the use of the dollar as well as BTC. Despite the President’s clear affinity for BTC, he has stated that the nation has no intent to fully replace the dollar – rather El Salvador will operate as a dual-currency nation, accepting USD and BTC on equal footing.
Bitcoin has been under fire lately for its perceived harmfulness towards the environment. While most reports greatly exaggerate this, the increased attention has led to various positive developments within the mining industry as operations are shifting towards ‘green’ energy sources.
Now a global Ambassador for Bitcoin through its adoption as a nation, El Salvadorian President, Nayib Bukele, announced that the country would turn to geo-thermal energy – derived from volcanos – as an energy source for BTC mining operations.
This is a perfect example of a country utilizing a unique source of energy in a meaningful way. Whether it be hydro-electric dams, volcanoes, solar farms, tidal force, or even piezoelectric polymers, free energy surrounds us – we just need to tap in to it.
Expectedly, all eyes are currently on El Salvador as the nation navigates its way through a series of firsts. No other nation has adopted BTC to the extent that it intends – for now. A snowball effect could soon occur however, as communications from various politicians around the world have alluded to other nations taking similar steps in the near future. One such country expected to undergo a similar change is Paraguay. Last week, Congressman Carlitos Rejala tweeted that in July he expects Paraguay to legislate BTC as legal tender.
While nothing official has yet been confirmed, reports have surfaced labelling various countries beyond Paraguay as likely candidates to follow in the wake of El Salvador.