The issue was compounded by the fact that Salvadorians see cash as king.
Peterson and community leaders embraced the offer to build the Bitcoin Beach initiative, despite the possibility before him. This started by creating jobs in the area and paying workers in BTC.
As the engine of prosperity, the virtual currency is used in a variety of ways.
The initiative decided to focus on the younger generation, who are more comfortable with technology because of the idea ofBitcoin.
The youngsters became advocates forBitcoin, persuading their parents, who ran local businesses to accept BTC for payment of goods and services, setting off a chain of events that would Bitcoinize the area.
At the same time, 60 Minutes showed that not every business in El Zonte is on board.
Bitcoin beach 60 minutes
Does this sound condescending to you?
“So we thought it was time to try and get our heads around the complicated world of crypto-currencies, specifically the largest one, bitcoin. To do that, we went to one of the simplest places in the world, a remote town known as “Bitcoin Beach.”
And what about when a tourist says the town might be the next Singapore, and she says “Singapore? It’s hard to imagine. The only traffic jams in El Zonte are caused by loose livestock”? Was that necessary? In any case, Alfonsi found the real protagonists of the story and put them on “60 Minutes.” For that, we thank her.
Who Did “60 Minutes” Talk To And What Did They Say?
From founder and donation-recipient Mike Peterson to the legendary Mama Rosa, the owner of the first business that accepted bitcoin in the area and the mother of Jorge Valenzuela.
Sharyn Alfonsi, journalist en correspondent van 60 Minutes, heeft een interview opgenomen met Mike Peterson. Hij is de man achter het Bitcoin Beach-project in El Zonte, een kustdorpje in El Salvador. De nieuwe aflevering wordt op 10 april uitgezonden.
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Al jaren was er in het dorp een social project gaande met het Hope House. In de loop der tijd is bitcoin onderdeel geworden van het community-project. Een anoniem persoon deed een grote donatie met één voorwaarde: ‘het opzetten van een circulaire economie rondom bitcoin’.
En zo geschiedde.
In comparison to Puerto Rico, which has lured the nuevo crypto rich as a tax haven, El Zonte presents a beach town “insulated both from the violence and instability” plaguing the rest of El Salvador.
Crypto supporters are flocking to “Bitcoin Beach” buying property and creating formal meetups in an effort to further crypto adoption.
Sam, a French-Italian consultant in his early 30s, told Politico that he had moved to El Zonte after becoming fed up with the restrictive Covid policies being imposed by his native Europe.
Alex, another affluent youth hailing from Sweden, said he felt his homeland culture had become “oppressive,” and moved to El Zonte to pursue more personal freedom.
Alex said he began investing in Bitcoin a decade ago as a way to circumvent keeping his money in banks.
The problem is that there’s going to be a day in which people will find out that the government is indebted, that they will increase taxes to everybody and that the party is over,” Membreño predicts.
Little does he know that bitcoin is the hardest asset in the world and El Salvador’s gambit will probably pay off big-time.
To complete the picture, Sharyn Alfonsi brings 19-year-old Ismael Galdamez. The youngster saw an opportunity in the fact that merchants in the area drove for hours to buy ice. Using bitcoin, he bought a big freezer and started providing ice right there in Bitcoin Beach.
The “60 Minutes” report ends with, “Ismael is planning to move his parents and siblings into this new house in El Zonte later this month.
They had been doing volunteer work for years, and, when Peterson got the mysterious BTC donation the trio started the “Bitcoin Beach Initiative” and eventually changed El Salvador forever.
The “60 Minutes” report didn’t get that part of the story right, but that’s alright. Bitcoinist is here to help. About the still-anonymous bitcoin whale’s donation, Peterson says:
“The stipulation was you can’t just convert it into dollars because they believe the actual usage of bitcoin would be what would benefit the people. And so for me, it was, like, wow, this is somebody that wants to actually see a circular economy generated using bitcoin and they’re willing to actually put the funds behind it.”
Then, Sharyn Alfonsi shows some businesses that don’t accept bitcoin, asks Peterson to define bitcoin and looks puzzled by the answer, and brings up volatility.
While a beach town might sound affluent, El Zonte is not: According to Reuters, ‘El Zonte is visibly poor, with dirt roads and a faulty drainage system.’ In 2019, an anonymous donor in the U.S. reportedly began sending Bitcoin to nonprofits in the area with the aim of finding ways to build a sustainable cryptocurrency ecosystem in the community.
“Then nonprofit workers in El Zonte, in consultation with the donor, launched Bitcoin Beach, an initiative that injected the cryptocurrency into the local economy, set people up with digital wallets, and helped businesses set up systems to accept Bitcoin payments.
“Residents use a Venmo-like app payment system for exchanging Bitcoin, which was developed by a tech company in California called Galoy Money. Using the app, people can see which businesses accept Bitcoin and look one another up by username.
Recently, American current affairs TV program “60 Minutes” shed some light on how young affluent foreigners are finding life on a beach town in El Salvador, where Bitcoin is legal tender.
As you may remember, the bill to make Bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador got passed by the Legislative Assembly on June 9 and the Bitcoin Law became effective on 7 September 2021.
On 24 June 2021, Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele announced during a national address that the Bitcoin Law would become effective on 7 September 7 2021.
According to a report by Slate that was published on 16 June 2001, here is how the village of El Zonte became one of the first places in El Salvador to make Bitcoin “de facto” legal tender:
“El Zonte is a village on the Pacific coast that has a population of about 3,000 people and is popular for surfing and fishing.
Peterson set up a charity shortly after arriving in El Zonte to bring economic prosperity to the local area. In order to address the problem of locals moving elsewhere for better opportunities, we need to address that.
60 Minutes is the longest-running primetime show in television history.
Mainstream coverage of this caliber is a big deal.
Yes, there’s ups and down volatilities along the way, but over the long-term perspective, it’s going up in value against the dollar,’ Peterson responds. Alfonsi answers with the darndest question, “You’re not doubling down on this because you personally can get rich?”
“I will benefit if the price of bitcoin goes up, but I can’t impact that. I can’t influence that. That’s not the driving reason behind this.
The reason is we want to see El Zonte transformed.”
BTC price chart for 04/12/2022 on Bitfinex | Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com
Jack Mallers And Ismael Galdamez EnterThe Picture
The “60 Minutes” piece doesn’t do the best of jobs describing how Strike was essential to this whole story. Luckily,Bitcoinist is here to help.