The caravan is in town and all eyes are on the $30 legal tender bitcoins that get to start ‘raining’ on El Salvador in a few hours this Tuesday.
“I thank you all,” says Karla the barista from El Salvador after receiving over 5 million sats (0.05 btc) from bitcoiners all over the world, worth $2,600.
Alex Gladstein, the human rights bitcoining activist who interviewed Jack Dorsey, is there showing off a Lightning Network (LN) bitcoin to cash ATM.
The El Salvadorian government itself is launching 200 such ATMs and 50 financial branches across the country with zero fees.
They are also eradicating capital gain taxes on bitcoin following the coming into force of the legal tender law, with permanent residence available to anyone that invests three bitcoins into the country, a number that is presumably variable depending on the price.
Peter McCormack (pictured) is there too interviewing Nayib Bukele, El Salvador’s president, while also seeing some protests against bitcoin adoption there.
There was always the risk bitcoin would be turned into a party political thing there, with Bukele’s failures – and probably not successes – becoming bitcoin’s failures where El Salvadorians are concerned.
As a decentralized crypto, there’s nothing we can really do about it, not least because until a few months ago no one quite knew where El Salvador is on the map.
So they can see it however they like, but we have no choice except to make a clear distinction between Bukele and really everything else about El Salvador, and bitcoin as well as its new legal tender status.
The latter is a first, and to celebrate cryptonians around the world plan to buy $30 worth of bitcoin in a symbolic gesture, with everyone of course free to buy as much as they want after buying $30.
That may influence the price with bitcoin briefly crossing $52,000 as the currency finally has equal status with fiat money in at least one country.
IMF doesn’t like that because it gets funded from governments which get their money by printing it, something that automatically raises taxes.
But El Salvador doesn’t print any of its own money. So from their perspective why should they give monopoly status to just one foreign central bank instead of give it a bit of competition by adding bitcoin.
No one quite has to accept bitcoin as they can choose to have the transaction be insta-converted into dollars, and if they’re LN-ing, they could save on banking fees especially for global transfers.
The only risk here so being a vague ‘money laundering’ when the government wallet has KYC and the FinCen files have shown chartered banks are the experts at that one, by far.
Of course the bitcoin colonialism hyperbole has been thrown out there as well. All these rich and smart mainly dudes at the pioneering edges bringing advanced tech to poor peasants which they can employ and so pass on know how in an enslavement towards a bank in your pocket while extracting rare resources like volcanic mining.
Whatever your politics, you should of course be against geeks that come armed with their Mac books, commanding global code based banks through their hideout in El Zonte beaches like some modern Taliban.
They even declare jihad against centralized Libor style price rigging of money itself, as well as all else, by putting it in Moses stone tablets, or code as they call it.
Who on earth wants in their backyard these well behaved chimps in t-shirts that go on about Moon and Mars and even rubbish things like Andromeda which they want to conquer through their rigid and immutable code networks.
Nah, better the IMF we all know and the utterly equitable design of Jerome Powell deciding all things, although to be fair to Powell he has done a fairly decent job considering the circumstances and the nature of his position.
In short: Viva El Salvador! And long live liberalism, with this legal tender declaration being one of the most liberal act in a generation or more as the people, or at least one peoples, are now free to have an uninhibited choice on just what money they want.
The rest of us will have to wait for our own Talibans to consider that perhaps, just maybe, competition is good. That freedom is better than lack of freedom. The freedom to rein sats on mac chimps, the freedom to be owners of our code and our platforms, the freedom to have a fixed measurer of value and to use it in a level playing field, the freedom to a peaceful revolution under the judgment, choice, and consent of the people.
We’ll get there one day. For now, we get to watch the future in El Salvador where clearly quite a few bitcoiners are currently as they want to see just what it feels like to be in a free country where bitcoin is concerned.