This is an opinion piece by Jeremy, an advisor to Escape to El Salvador, a community of professionals who help expats obtain residency and citizenship in El Salvador.
It was wonderful to see so many people visiting our beautiful country recently! They fall in love with our beaches and our jungles, our volcanoes and our pupusas. Finally, every tourist has that moment when he asks himself: “Do we really have to go back there?” and they are only half joking.
Those who are serious about staying, do their research and check out where to live, and start to learn a little about the politics of the smallest (non-island) country in the Western Hemisphere. Eventually, they find locals to talk to about the residency in El Salvador, and when they do, one question comes up in every conversation: “What happens when President Bukele leaves office? Can the next president change the Bitcoin law? »
The short answer is no, but it’s worth looking into the details to really understand the political environment here as it relates not just to Bitcoin, but to the broader ambitions of the Salvadoran public.
El Salvador has a democratic and representative government, and the power to change the law rests with the Assembly. When President Bukele first took over the country’s highest office in 2019, he wanted the Bitcoin Law (along with several other reforms), but didn’t have the votes to pass it before the next election cycle. when the New ideas The party took control of the Legislative Assembly in a landslide showing its support for the various reforms discussed in previous years, including the territorial control plan, which has made El Salvador safer today than in any other time in its history. The Assembly passed the Bitcoin Act just over a year ago, and it would take another piece of legislation to make changes. Another politician could very well campaign against the law, but it’s hard to imagine anyone reaching the level of popularity that President Bukele achieved, being the world’s most popular head of state in multiple international polls. With the majority of citizens here associating Bitcoin with the country’s success and booming tourist economy, any suggestion of change is likely to face an uphill battle.
But eventually President Bukele’s term will end and someone new will take the helm. What will their priorities be? Nuevas Ideas has an official parliamentary group called Bancada Cyan, or “Cyan Bench” of the characteristic color of the country. The idea is to create a ‘bench’ of leaders across all sectors of government to ensure there is a succession plan and that the party platform is represented across all ministries. The bench leadership is populated by more than a dozen young and energetic officials who have come to their offices alongside President Bukele, and many of them have been part of his inner circle since his days as mayor of San Salvador. and from Nuevo Cuscatlán (a small town just outside of San Salvador) before that since 2012. Several of them are high-profile candidates for future roles in the president’s office.
Bancada Cyan are all completely orange and have been exposed to the idea of Bitcoin as legal tender for as long as 2017, so they experienced the roller coaster of adoption, listened to the waves of FUD, and saw Bitcoin’s success in their own neighborhoods firsthand. As someone on the ground who follows the news here very closely, I think a change is unlikely to be seriously discussed. And even if it did, the cat is out of the bag, so to speak, more here in El Salvador than anywhere else in the world. So many people have bitcoin wallets on their phones and so many businesses are already accepting bitcoin through business gateways or custom systems that the circular economy – although still nascent – will continue to thrive without legal protection.
New projects on the horizon will only serve to cement Bitcoin’s place in the country. The recently announced Surf City Circuit 2 will connect the eastern part of the country (an area historically ignored by previous administrations) with the already popular tourist destinations of La Libertad, all the way from El Zonte (Bitcoin Beach) to Ahuachapán. in the far west of the country. Later, the Pacific Train will provide even more connectivity and, together with the Pacific Airport, will lay the foundation for the construction of “Bitcoin City” in La Union, overlooking the beautiful Gulf of Fonseca – dotted with lush tropical islands. And when the world has an entire city built on the Bitcoin standard, you’ll know that the incredible journey we took was not only worth it, but completely unstoppable!
This is a guest post by Jeremy. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine