What happened in El Salvador to encourage 44 different countries to send representatives from 32 central banks and 12 other financial institutions? The short answer is that last week the country hosted an economic summit to learn about El Salvador’s strategies and experience in financial inclusion. And while the event was not a Bitcoin-specific gathering, the participants, many of whom hail from countries with similar economies to El Salvador’s, received firsthand exposure to the country’s unique and pioneering Bitcoin journey.
Bitcoin Beach project, described the organization as the “group of forgotten countries that the economic superpowers often ignore.”
Nayib Bukele, on Twitter, the gathering focused on “financial inclusion, digital economy, banking the unbanked, the Bitcoin rollout and its benefits…”
Bitcoin Law.” Though before the summit, AFI Policy Programs and Implementation Director Eliki Boletawa recognized El Salvador as the first country to make bitcoin legal tender and balance innovation with “stability, integrity and inclusivity.”
In an interview with the Salvadoran state news media, Banji Milambo, a representative from the Zambian delegation, in reference to the adoption of Bitcoin, said, “It’s a progressive move, it’s the evolution of money and the rest of us need to catch up.”
Some Countries Are Not Ready For Bitcoin
As word of the gathering of central bankers and financial institutions spread on social media, many Bitcoiners began to speculate whether this event foreshadowed a large-scale Bitcoin adoption event by nation states.
Paraguay’s central bank, a participant in the summit, released a statement informing the country’s population that the meetings were not about the adoption of cryptocurrencies. It also reminded Paraguayans that cryptocurrencies could not be legal tender as per its laws, as the central bank does not issue them.
couple of similar statements, one of which reiterated that the adoption of Bitcoin “was particularly relevant to El Salvador and a wonderful opportunity for peer exchange; nonetheless, adoption is not a possibility in the majority of countries.”
AFI members may be learning a lot from this summit, and they may need some reflection time to process their experiences.
“The majority of attendees are not low-level bureaucrats but central bankers and decision makers. Their decisions will impact their home countries,” said Peterson.
It’s worth noting that some of the participants may also be keeping a growing interest in Bitcoin adoption out of the public eye, given that financial institutions like Home Credit, Visa and Mastercard provide funding for AFI.
El Salvador Is A Bitcoin Model To Follow
Only eight months into El Salvador’s official Bitcoin adoption efforts, impatience is a common theme among critics and Bitcoiners alike. However, Bitcoin implementation did not happen overnight, and the summit members are likely unaware of the country’s challenges up to this point.