This is a promoted article provided by ECI Development
On June 8, 2021, President Nayib Bukele declared bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador, effective September 7, 2021. But the surf town of El Zonte boasts a two-year head start. In fact, nearly all of the town’s households and dozens of local businesses already trade using bitcoin.
It all began when Mike Peterson, a surfer from California, got word that the community projects in this Salvadoran town were getting a generous boost from an anonymous philanthropist. The only caveat? Create a local economy that runs purely on Bitcoin. Oh, and the donation could not be cashed out into fiat currency. With that, El Zonte suddenly became the Bitcoin proving ground.
Alongside local community activist Jorge Valenzuela, Peterson began the Bitcoin Beach project, targeting the youth of the area. Many school-aged children only make it to the ninth grade in this town, as access to schools can be cost-prohibitive. By focusing on this demographic, the Bitcoin Beach project began teaching young people how to use this new “internet money.” The project rewarded students who earned good grades, paid teenagers who worked as lifeguards and kept beaches and waterways clean, and even extended $35 per month in bitcoin to over 500 families who struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To date, the project has catapulted the use of Bitcoin to the halls of the legislature, with President Bukele citing this once-sleepy surf town as an example of how the country could move forward with the use of Bitcoin. Where many citizens once felt financially blocked from the traditional banking system, Bitcoin has opened an avenue for them to not only make money, but to save as well. For these Salvadorans, the idea is magical. Watching their digital money grow provides hope and new opportunities.
With the entire country now expected to get on board with Bitcoin, El Zonte stands out as an example of innovation and success. From buying groceries, paying household bills or grabbing a few delicious pupusas at the corner stand, Bitcoin Beach is one of the few places in the world that uses Bitcoin routinely.
All eyes are on Bitcoin Beach. The fever is spreading, and the facts are astounding!
El Salvador relies heavily on remittances, totaling nearly $6 billion in 2019. That amount is the equivalent of about one-fifth of the country’s GDP and is one of the highest ratios in the world. Bitcoin will usher in a new method to transfer these remittances, cutting down on the high fees that traditional money transfer services have long been charging. Those savings in fees go a long way in communities that rank among the poorest in the hemisphere, enabling local entrepreneurs to reinvest or save for a rainy day.
Upon declaring this “Bitcoin law,” President Bukele acknowledged that the country would be a magnet for Bitcoin entrepreneurs and investors. And it’s happening. Opportunities to be part of a financial evolution rarely come around. Immediate permanent residency and tax breaks, particularly on capital gains, sweeten the pot. Bitcoin as legal tender has made El Salvador the leader in this new space.
Many in the Bitcoin community want to be a part of this revolution, too. Owning a vacation home or investment property in El Salvador is one great way to share in this success. As one of the few developers in the region that accepts bitcoin as payment, ECI Development is working with Peterson to bring a tourism village to Bitcoin Beach/El Zonte.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org now and be first to hear about the homes, condos and tiny homes in this eco-sensible, sustainable tourism village where like-minded, forward-thinking individuals will gather and enjoy the success of Bitcoin together.
El Zonte has established the use of bitcoin into the everyday lives of its residents. The residents there are part of the change. As the rest of the nation catches up, the question is, will you?