The small Central American country of El Salvador can thank Bitcoin for pushing its national surf team to new levels.
“Bitcoin has also helped El Salvador fund their National team and map out a training facility. On March 19, 2021, the Men’s and Women’s Salvadoran surf teams signed their first-ever paid contracts. These contracts, funded by the Bitcoin Beach initiative, make them the only national sports team funded solely by Bitcoin,” reports StabMag, a surfing publication.
This major achievement for bitcoin on a community level is the result of the Bitcoin Beach initiative. Indeed, this is not the first time that El Salvador has made bitcoin-related headlines. In a world where banking is often non-accessible to remote locations and underprivileged communities, bitcoin has become a shining light of an alternative.
El Zonte, a beach community and village on the coast of the country, is known as “Bitcoin Beach.” The circular economy being built by surfers like Michael Peterson was the subject of a Bitcoin Magazine piece in January 2020. The project started after an anonymous donor gave a large sum of bitcoin to the village in hopes of igniting a separate local economy entirely built on the digital asset.
“The anonymous donor agreed to give the money to the village under the condition that the currency not be cashed out. Through this demand, the Bitcoin Beach initiative took form,” writes StabMag on the initial philanthropy which started the movement.
Very quickly, bitcoin became integrated into the daily life and economic activity of the citizens residing there. Catapulting past the traditional financial regulations and red tape, the village immediately sprung into monetary modernity on the back of the Bitcoin and Lightning networks. And now, there is real economic progress to behold, as the once rugged village leverages the power of this immense technology.
“Just how successful has the operation been? The once struggling area is now functioning well enough to host two events for the 2021 ISA Games at La Bocana and El Sunzal. As the last round of Olympic qualifiers, the events will fill the five remaining spots for men and seven for women,” states the StabMag article on the developments.
As Bitcoin continues to grow both in price and community, it should be expected that more and more localized economics will entirely adopt the bitcoin standard. Previous progressions in monetary technology only brought marginal change to the structure of disenfranchised populations. What good is the ever increasing pace of Visa transactions to those without debit cards? But bitcoin, operant on the most basic digital infrastructure available, brings forth a monetary revolution unmatched. It will be exciting to see communities like Bitcoin Beach continue to lead this revolution.