So, Bitcoin is legal tender in El Salvador. How did the experiment start? With fire and chaos. You could say that the implementation wasn’t the smoothest, but it’s advancing and people are learning. The narrative shifted from the remote beach town of El Zonte to the busy streets of San Salvador, but there’s action everywhere. While the city folks get in line to use a Chivo ATM, back in Bitcoin Beach the vendors keep receiving Sats from the community. And the project keeps on moving, onboarding new people every day.
Related Reading | Visit El Salvador’s Bitcoin Beach Through VICE’s Mini-Documentary
That’s enough intro, though. What happened in El Salvador since we last spoke? Well…
Latin American Bitcoin & Blockchain Conference, El Salvador
- From November 15th to the 20th, El Salvador will host a Special Edition of LABITCONF. They promise “Conferences, Hackathons, Lightning, B2B Speed Datings & more.” The video announcement features an animated Nayib Bukele setting a rocket off.
?? #LABITCONF | El Salvador @ Nov 15 to 20.
Conferences, Hackathons, Lightning, B2B Speed Datings & more.
— LABITCONF (@labitconf) September 13, 2021
The Chivo Ecosystem Is On Fire
- Wow, that escalated quickly. During those protests against Bitcoin in San Salvador, some people set fire to a Chivo ATM and cash point.
Manifestantes incendian un Punto y un ATM Chivo en el Centro de la Capital San Salvador, en El Salvador ?
Parte del fracaso con la implementación de la Chivo Wallet, ha dado fuerza a los opositores al #Bitcoin pic.twitter.com/SjGUcr9o5y
— Ishi Kawa ⚡ (@soyishikawa) September 15, 2021
However, are the protesters to blame? The undercover agent that blends with the crowd and then sets something on fire to make a pacific protest look like a riot is a classic governmental tool. And that’s what President Bukele’s opposition says happened.
- Days later, Nayib Bukele announced that 1.1M Salvadorans are using the Chivo Wallet. A few days later, that number increased to 1.6M. The President also let the world that El Salvador bought another 150 bitcoin. The country now holds 700 bitcoin in total.
- And back to the real world, a Dutch national shows us the huge lines outside of Chivo ATMs in San Salvador. This, of course, is not ideal. It shows the demand for bitcoin, though.
Wondering how @chivowallet is doing? Going nuts???
I didn't count, but there are more than 70 persons in the line, waiting to use one #Bitcoin ATM.
It's not just this ATM. I have seen several.. some with even more people!
Don't know if they're here for deposits or withdrawals pic.twitter.com/e8Z9sElDMb
— Arnold Hu₿ach ⚡️ (@st4rnold) September 21, 2021
- Speaking of successful transactions, this person shows the cash remittance he got from a Chivo ATM. And this person sent a remittance via Strike and the fee was $0,01.
BTC price chart for 09/22/2021 on OkCoin | Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com
A Day Using The Lightning Network Only
- The good people at Paxful produced this one-minute documentary about a cashless life in El Zonte. They report, “While some vendors are still setting up BTC payments, others are excitedly ready to go.”
— Paxful (@paxful) September 19, 2021
Do note that the protagonists use the Paxful wallet for their Lightning Network adventure, not Strike nor Chivo.
Everything Started At Bitcoin Beach
The Bitcoin Beach people don’t stop.
- They’re raising money to build another community center in a nearby town. “While El Zonte has gotten most of the publicity, this beautiful remote village near the famed Punta Mango surf break has been central to Bitcoin Beach.” They have the blueprint, the land, and are looking for a single donor who’s good for 1BTC.
Leave a Legacy-While #ElZonte has gotten most of the publicity, this beautiful remote village near the famed #PuntaMango surf break has been central 2 #Bitcoin Beach. We are building the field but looking for 1 BTC to build the community center building- looking 4 single donor pic.twitter.com/evtFW3M8LN
— Bitcoin Beach (@Bitcoinbeach) September 21, 2021
- Not only that, here they propose to the Co-Founder of the Built With Bitcoin Foundation to work with them and renew a school that’s nearby the future Punta Mango Community Center.
— Bitcoin Beach (@Bitcoinbeach) September 19, 2021
No official answer yet
- And back in El Zonte, on the historic September 7th date, they gave $50 worth of Bitcoin “to each family in El Zonte to celebrate the roll they played in disrupting the world’s financial system and showing that financial inclusion is easily attainable with Bitcoin.”
Celebrating this historic day by giving $50 in #BTC to each family in #ElZonte to celebrate the roll they played in disrupting the world’s financial system and showing that financial inclusion is easily attainable with #Bitcoin pic.twitter.com/mrlESepjud
— Bitcoin Beach (@Bitcoinbeach) September 8, 2021
- And Roman Martínez presented this pastries vendor to the Bitcoin community and they showered him with donations, which you can see in the Twitter thread.
— Roman Martínez (chimbera) (@romanmartinezc) September 20, 2021
- And speaking about Martínez, he launched a new podcast called “Bitcoin: A Tool for Everyone.” Be sure to support him. And speaking about podcasts, here’s an interview with Bart Mol about El Salvador. He was the source for this first-hand testimony about September 7th that we published when the experiment started.
Related Reading | News From The El Salvador Experiment, Mid July: More ATMs and CNN
That’s it for now. See you all on the flipside. Here’s the LABITCONF video via YouTube.
Featured Image: Screenshoot from the Labitconf video | Charts by TradingView