Since El Salvador President Nayib Bukele announced, during the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami on June 5, that was prepared to make Bitcoin legal tender in the country, the reactions have run the gambit of possibilities. True to his word, it only took a few days for the announcement to become law, and El Salvador has set the stage for more countries to follow suit. El Salvador’s position is having a snowball effect on cryptocurrency adoption throughout Latin America and, according to cryptocurrency and FinTech expert Jason Simon, this is only the beginning.
Politicians in seven other Latin American countries are indicating that they too are interested in Bitcoin following Bukele’s revelation. In addition, there were two high-ranking individuals in El Salvador who showed their support. Mónica Taher, the head of Technological & Economic International Affairs at the Government of El Salvador Trade & Investments Secretariat, and Ernesto Castro, the incumbent President of the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador, quickly adopted the “laser eyes meme,” changing their social media profile pictures to show the iconic symbol that has become associated with cryptocurrency innovation.
Elsewhere across Latin America, it has become obvious that more adoption could be on its way. Says Simon, “Even though there have been some detractors, El Salvador has set in motion events that can now never be undone. Cryptocurrency is advancing as a form of fiat, as was originally intended, and will find its place within a few years. We’ve come a long way from the time of using seashells as a form of payment.”
One of the first to show support was Paraguay Congressman Carlitos Rejala, followed by Congressman Gabriel Silva of Panama. Next, Francisco Sánchez, the National Deputy for Neuquén in Argentina, and, from Brazil, Fábio Maia Ostermann, an elected member of the Legislative Assembly in Rio Grande do Sul, and Gilson Marques, a member of the National Congress added their names, as well. Then, only a day later, Colombia’s Jehudi Castro Sierra, Vice-Minister of Digital Economy, an advisor to the President of Colombia made an appearance.
From Mexico, Indira Kempis Martinez, Senator of the Republic of majority for the State of Nuevo León, and Alejandro Murat Hinojosa, the Governor of Oaxaca, later joined, followed by Julio Eduardo Clavijo Acosta, Vice Minister of Economic Inclusion in Ecuador. Most are sporting their red (or blue) laser eyes on social media, a sign that they support the advancement of Bitcoin as an alternative to fiat.