Honduras, a pretty North American country has joined the digital currency trend through its “Bitcoin Valley.” A tourist enclave in Santa Lucia will allow users to pay in crypto. So next time you’re heading to Honduras, you can pay for the tamales and fried fish in BTC.
The quaint little town in the mountains, 20 minutes from the capital Tegucigalpa, has now become a Bitcoin city. The owners of both big and small businesses are preparing themselves to handle cryptocurrency payments and hoping to attract more tourists. Honduras’ neighbouring country El Salvador had earlier made BTC a legal tender and was a topic of discussion globally. Honduras would be expecting a similar trajectory through its move to embrace cryptocurrency.
“It will open more opportunities and attract more people who want to use this currency,” said Cesar Andino, manager of Los Robles shopping square. He also added by saying:
“Accepting Bitcoin will allow us to open another market and win more customers. We have to globalize. We cannot close ourselves off from technology, and we cannot be left behind when other countries are already doing it.”
The “Bitcoin Valley” project aims to target 60 businesses to initially get trained and adopt cryptocurrencies to market their products and services. If the move does well, then more businesses can be roped in to follow the Bitcoin valley model and more areas can be covered as well.
The initiative was jointly developed by the Blockchain Honduras organization, the Guatemalan cryptocurrency exchange consortium Coincaex, the Technological University of Honduras and Santa Lucia’s municipality.
A professor at the Technological University,Ruben Carbajal Velazquez, said
“Santa Lucia’s community will be educated to use and manage cryptocurrencies, implementing them in different businesses in the region and generating crypto-tourism.”
Coincaex is providing the end to end infrastructure required to carry out all crypto payments. Customers can pay for goods and services in Bitcoin, they will be sending the coins to Coincaex exchange. The exchange then instantly sends the value of the BTC in Lempira to the merchant to help them avoid loss from price volatility. Therefore, business owners do not directly receive BTC as payment under this scheme.
A move to revive tourism?
Honduras had an annual tourism spending of $556 Million in 2019, which had dropped by 66% to $189 Million in 2020. The tropical coastal country hopes to rekindle the tourism through this move. It joins hands with the few fellow North American countries who had earlier welcomed the cryptocurrency payments.
El Salvador had in 2021 made BTC an official tender and also launched mass educational schemes to educate masses on the utility if BTC. Another such North American country which is pro crypto is Guatemala. It has its own ‘Bitcoin Lake’ initiative at tourism sites around Lake Atitlan and the mayor of the region even mines crypto to utilize the unused power that was going waste otherwise.
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