What is 'Bitcoin Beach', a magnificent social experiment that turned a fishing village into a village of Bitcoin economy?

Located in Central America, El Salvador passed the 'Bill to Make Bitcoin Legal Tender' in Parliament in June 2021 and became the first nation in the world to adopt Bitcoin as its official currency. Slate, a news site specializing in politics, and Bloomberg, an economic magazine, report on how a small fishing village with a population of about 3,000 on the beach in El Salvador became a 'bitcoin beach' that turns the economy with Bitcoin. ..

Bitcoin Beach: The cryptocurrency experiment in El Salvador's El Zonte.

World's Biggest Bitcoin Experiment Is a Surf Town in El Salvador --Bloomberg

El Zonte, on the Pacific coast of El Salvador, is a village with a population of about 3,000, famous for surfing and fishing. According to Reuters reports , El Zonte is a cold village where many of the villagers are poor, the roads are unpaved and the sewage is not well maintained. The change came when an anonymous investor living in the United States donated a large amount of Bitcoin to a local organization in El Zonte in 2019. El Zonte, who suddenly got a large amount of Bitcoin, distributes Bitcoin and payment apps to residents in order to revive the local economy, and a project to root Bitcoin in the village 'Bitcoin Beach' has started.


Carlos Lowry

The anonymous investor said, 'The reality of the El Salvador economy, which is abandoning its fiat currency and officially using the US dollar,' and 'the existing payment system, where most people living in El Zonte are credit cards.' He said he made a donation to conduct a social experiment at El Zonte because he didn't have it. In fact, Chris Hunter, the founder of Galoy Money, who developed the Bitcoin Beach Wallet Bitcoin payment app for El Zonte at the request of the village, said, 'El Zonte is a Bitcoin experiment site. It was ideal. '

Bitcoin Beach, which started in 2019, did not start well. Michael Peterson, one of the core members of the project, said he thought 'it's a fraudulent story' when he first heard about the project. However, as he heard from an anonymous donor living in California about the idea of creating a Bitcoin-powered local economy, he said, 'If this goes well, we'll be on the same starting line from the poorest to the richest in the village. I felt I could change El Zonte, 'says Peterson.

Having struggled to persuade the elderly who run the village, Peterson paid bitcoins to a teenager in the village who had little resistance to technology to clean the beach, or went to a local store to bitcoin. We gradually spread Bitcoin to the village while having them introduce payment.

The decisive factor in the spread of Bitcoin in such El Zonte was the new coronavirus infection discovered at the end of 2019. Realizing that the old economic system that supported the village had collapsed due to the pandemic, Peterson began sending $ 35 worth of Bitcoin to each household in the village every month. It was. One and a half years after the launch of 'Bitcoin Beach,' Bitcoin is rapidly becoming popular, with 90% of households in the village using Bitcoin and more than 40 businesses in the village accepting Bitcoin payments. It spread to the village. 'It was just crazy,' Peterson said of the spread of Bitcoin.

The Bitcoin Beach Wallet, which villagers use for Bitcoin payments, allows you to see the dollar and Bitcoin prices and at which stores you can make Bitcoin payments. In addition, regardless of whether Bitcoin payment is supported, all village prices are unified to dollars, and even if the Bitcoin market fluctuates, one cappuccino is always $ 3.5 (about 385 yen). In this way, Bitcoin seems to function as a token that mediates currency rather than currency.

Bitcoin has rapidly penetrated the lives of villagers, but it has not changed the lives of villagers. People who run stores in the village say that Bitcoin accounts for only a small percentage of sales. Also, 85% of villagers have smartphones, many of whom live in small houses with tin roofs and dirt floors.

On the other hand, some people are realizing the benefits. A business owner in the village told Bloomberg, 'It takes an hour to get to the nearest bank, so I used to spend half a day every month to pay my employees, but now my salary. Pays with Bitcoin. ' 'I've treated my teeth with Bitcoin and I'm now saving Bitcoin to buy cows,' said Adrian Torres, 62, one of the company's employees. I told you.

The experimental project 'Bitcoin Beach' has had some success, but it is unknown whether El Salvador will succeed in introducing Bitcoin due to the different scales of villages and countries with a population of 3,000. El Zonte was a region where the internet was relatively widespread, but the overall internet penetration rate in El Salvador is only 45%. Another problem is that Bitcoin is always at risk of falling due to its volatile prices.

Peterson, who was informed that El Salvador had made Bitcoin legal tender, said, 'The interest in Bitcoin has been very high in the last few days. We are trying to bring jobs to El Salvador through Bitcoin. We want to help you learn about Bitcoin. Our first goal is to get people in El Salvador familiar with Bitcoin. '

in Note, Posted by log1l_ks