Wave Park will be built after an anonymous crypto donation
Bitcoin Beach: El Zonte is a surfing hotspot in El Salvador. The city will now be the location of the first wave park in all of Central America. With construction about to begin, it holds great promise for attracting more surfers to its waters.
The Bitcoin Beach Project began three years ago after an anonymous donation of digital currency to the beach town of El Zonte. Since then, entrepreneurs and tourists in the region have increasingly used Bitcoin to conduct transactions.
City workers receive their wages in digital currency. The name Bitcoin Beach has become a tribute to the city’s acceptance of this currency as a form of payment.
The Bitcoin Beach Promise
All of this happened outside of government involvement. Bitcoin Beach quickly caught the eye, successfully contributing to the national cryptocurrency conversation. In September 2021, El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as legal tender under the leadership of President Nayib Bukele. The Bitcoin Beach now advertises itself as “A small community that helped overthrow the global monetary system“.
Bitcoin Beach now backed by El Salvador
El Salvador now wants to increase the popularity of the beach. The mass adoption of digital currency is possible as the city is a popular destination for surfers from all over the world. Both amateurs and professional surfers are drawn here. And now, surfing has been officially added to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. So world-class surfing athletes will also be drawn to the destination.
The hope is that for El Salvador, this project will transform the country into a tourist destination. That wish has already come true, as many locals report that Surf City’s traffic has increased.
It seems that famous surfers are already broke with cryptocurrencies as a payment option. Iconic American surfer Kelly Slater, who is said to be the best professional surfer of all time, has shown great interest in cryptocurrency and Bitcoin.
Advantages and disadvantages
Outside of tourism, El Salvador has turned to Bitcoin to save hundreds of millions paid annually in commission on international money transfers. Cryptocurrency has become a cheaper method of sending money from overseas. For all the people who have left El Salvador and are sending money home, this is a big deal. In fact, 20% of the country’s GDP depends on money from the diaspora.
Proponents say the use of Bitcoin increases access to financial services for those without bank accounts. Nevertheless, critics, including the International Monetary Fund, remain adamant. They argue that El Salvador could face serious financial instability. The National Bitcoin Reserve has already suffered a loss of $12 million since September. Some also claim that the country will be more vulnerable to financial crimes such as money laundering.
And, of course, nearly half of the Salvadoran population has no internet access, and many more have limited access. The internet is an essential factor in enabling the Bitcoin ecosystem to function.
For now though, Bitcoin Beach offers great promise to a part of the world that could use advertising. Either way, surf! And I hope there are no sharks…
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