Economist Saifedean Ammous Joins El Salvador’s Bitcoin Office: Innovation Hub or Struggling Adoption?

Intricate urban skyline, Bitcoin symbol glowing, Central American architectural elements, golden sunlight, President Bukele and Saifedean Ammous shaking hands, intellectual atmosphere, economic growth optimism, mood of innovation and progress, shadow of struggling adoption, undercurrent of digital divide, rich color palette.

Prominent economist and author of “The Bitcoin Standard,” Saifedean Ammous, has been appointed as an economic advisor to El Salvador’s National Bitcoin Office (ONBTC). This development comes as the country continues to embrace cryptocurrency under the guidance and support of President Nayib Bukele, who has implemented policies such as zero tax for technological companies, making El Salvador an attractive destination for investors. Ammous’s unpaid advisory role will include providing advice to the President and the ONBTC on various economic policies.

Supporters of El Salvador’s bold moves are confident this strategy holds the potential to turn the country into a hub of innovation. Ammous himself shared in a recent interview that El Salvador could be free from debt in just five to ten years. However, with any pioneering advancement comes its challenges, and this case is no exception. The adoption of Bitcoin in El Salvador has been slow, with the cryptocurrency accounting for less than 2% of all the remittances made to the country.

Remittances, primarily from overseas-based Salvadorans, serve as a significant source of income for the country. The government had promoted Bitcoin as a more convenient and accessible option for those sending and receiving remittances. In response to this, El Salvador launched a dedicated Bitcoin app aimed at facilitating BTC remittances from overseas. Despite this effort, only 20% of those who initially downloaded the app continue to use it.

El Salvador introduced its National Bitcoin Office, in partnership with well-known Bitcoiners Stacy Herbert and Max Keiser, through Decree n.49 to manage all cryptocurrency-related matters. Since making Bitcoin legal tender in 2021, the country has also introduced innovative Bitcoin bonds as part of its national cryptocurrency strategy.

While Ammous’s appointment can be seen as a sign of progress for El Salvador’s Bitcoin strategy, there are lingering concerns about adoption rates in the small Central American country. Furthermore, the government’s commitment towards cryptocurrency might lead to inequalities in the use and application of the technology.

On one hand, this partnership between Ammous and the ONBTC may draw attention to El Salvador’s potential as an innovation hub, bringing in more Bitcoin enthusiasts and investors. On the other hand, the nation’s slow acceptance of the cryptocurrency indicates a need for further education, infrastructure, and adjustment before the vision becomes a reality.

In summary, the appointment of Saifedean Ammous as an economic advisor to El Salvador’s National Bitcoin Office highlights the government’s commitment to its Bitcoin strategy. However, it also emphasizes the challenges faced in fostering wider adoption and understanding the implications of such a transformative technological shift.

Source: Cryptonews

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