Continuing in its bid to be a leader in the new digital economy, El Salvador has announced plans to build a bitcoin city.
In an announcement by President Nayib Bukele, he revealed that the city will be located at the base of a volcano and will utilise the setting’s power and energy to boost the crypto economy.
The decision, which builds on the country’s move to become the first region to legally recognise bitcoin as a legal tender, was mapped out at a Bitcoin event in Mizata, as it was revealed that digital currency would be all encompassing of the region, for retail and leisure.
It cements the idea that the 40-year-old president views the embracing of digital currency as an opportunity to rapidly accelerate the economic growth and prosperity of the country.
Although the decision has been met with mixed reactions from the people of El Salvador, Bukele underlined that financial inclusion is at the heart of the move.
In a statement shared with the Bitcoin conference in Miami, Florida, the President emphasised: “In the short term, this will generate jobs and help provide financial inclusion to thousands outside the formal economy, and in the medium and long term, we hope that this small decision can help us push humanity at least a tiny bit into the right direction.
“Financial inclusion is not only a moral imperative but also a way to grow the country’s economy, providing access to credit, savings, investment and secure transactions.
“We hope that this decision will be just the beginning in providing a space where some of the leading innovators can reimagine the future of finance.”
It comes as the need for increased financial inclusion in El Salvador is pivotal, with a reported 70% of consumers in the region being unbanked, something that has inevitably been magnified by the pandemic and its economic consequences.