Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

In early June, A pre-recorded video informs El Salvador citizens that they are going to take part in a great test. The speaker was the country’s 40-year-old president, Naib Buqel, who announced that he had a plan for a better future: Bitcoin. The Cryptocurrency He said the country would become a legal tender প্রথম a global first that would raise it to the same legal status as the US dollar, El Salvador’s national currency, since 2001. It will help the unemployed, he added, and those who have left the banks. But for the plan to help the struggling Salvadoran, they were clearly absent; Bukele didn’t even speak Spanish. Instead, the message was carried to a cheering crowd of international bitcoin enthusiasts at a conference in Miami.

In the capital of San Salvador, Mario Gomez, a charismatic, 36-year-old software developer and founder of a “hacker space” for collaborators, was skeptical. “I don’t fully believe these people are selling,” he explained later. A fan of open source technology, he doesn’t see himself as an enemy of Bitcoin, but he is concerned about how the government seems to be leaking Bitcoin to its people. So he took to Twitter. In the following weeks, his criticism of the plan increased, as did his follow-up.

A Chivo ATM for the National Bitcoin App in El Salvador, Oakland, California.

Photo: Cady Enjoy

On August 31, Gomez tweeted a few leaked slides from the government’s upcoming Bitcoin Wallet, an app called Chivo, with criticism. The next morning, as usual, he was taking his mother to work when he was apprehended by the national police. There was a problem with his car, the officers told him, although they would not tell him what the problem was. Gomez thinks he’s more confused than panicked. He quickly typed a message to his nearly 8,000 Twitter followers before officers confiscated his phone. His mother loaded him on the bed of a police truck and took a picture of him, which took him to a nearby station and then to another station, where he said he had not been allowed access to a lawyer. Meanwhile, protests erupted on Twitter demanding his release. Authorities released him six hours later.

Salvadoran police have since said Gomez is being investigated for unspecified financial crimes, although no charges have been filed. Lawyers for Gomez and his representative, a human rights group, Christosall, claimed that his arrest was linked to information he had shared about Chivo and that he had been intimidated into speaking out. His phone was never returned, but he has since returned to Twitter, where he insisted he was still a man of opinion. He finds it rather ironic. Bitcoin has long been held as a beacon of independence from banks and government. And yet, somehow, by opposing his country’s acceptance of bitcoin, Gomez became a reluctant political dissident. National Police did not respond to a request for comment.

A strong man emerges

Buccaneer’s June Bitcoin announcement came when he held his grip on power. The first sign of an upwardly powerful man appeared a year ago when, after losing a legislative vote, he entered the country’s legislature alongside armed police and soldiers. Sitting in a chair reserved for the president of the legislature, Buccaneer prayed to God, who later told him to be patient. He did not have to wait long. In May, after gaining a super-majority in the legislature, Buchel’s coalition voted to remove the attorney general and five members of the country’s constitutional court and replace them with their loyalists. Soon after, Buckley extended his presidency beyond normal limits.

El Salvador’s authoritarian turn has drawn warnings from the United States, which has endorsed Buchel’s close allies for corruption and said it would shift aid from the government to civil society groups. But in El Salvador, the book has remained popular, with approval ratings of more than 80 percent. For a while, he changed his Twitter bio to “the best dictator in the world.” (It’s now called “El Salvador’s CEO”.) “Personality culture is particularly worrying, I think, for many because it’s reminiscent of Latin. Warrior Of the past, “said Eduardo Gamarra, a political scientist at Florida International University.

Buchel cites Bitcoin as an opportunity for Salvadors, especially as a way to collect higher fees for those receiving US dollars from abroad, a flow that represents about a quarter of El Salvador’s economy. He confidently predicted that the value of Bitcoin would rise, enriching the country. But despite Buquel’s popularity, ordinary Salvadoran people are unsure who will benefit. It was found in a survey in September More than two-thirds Salvadorans reject the “Bitcoin Act” and protest against the use of tax money to buy a volatile cryptocurrency has attracted thousands. Activists like Gomez say the government has moved too fast and that the militant people in Buckley who claim he wants to help are most likely to be harmed. According to Paul, the biggest concern of the respondents about Bitcoin was its instability and they did not know how to use it.

But the bitcoin effort has only grown in scale and hype in recent months – much of it driven by Bukele’s personal Twitter account. The government is stepping up measures to lure foreign investors, including $ 1 billion in bitcoin-backed bonds, economic zones with relaxed regulations, tax breaks and permanent residency for high-dollar investors. According to those involved in the talks, the policies were originally drawn up by a small group of presidential advisers, many of whom are foreigners.

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