A year after the introduction of bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador, we can reflect on the stories of those who’ve experienced the adoption firsthand.
This is an opinion editorial by Renata Rodrigues, global community and education lead at Paxful.
On June 8, 2021, when El Salvador announced that Bitcoin was to become legal tender in El Salvador, I knew that this was an opportunity to showcase the real value of Bitcoin. What I saw was a community of people curious and open to embracing an honest and inclusive monetary system that could reduce barriers to wealth and build financial freedom.
When I look back one year later, Bitcoin is paving the way for a brighter financial future for the people who believe in Bitcoin for freedom and equal financial access. There’s still work to be done and we know that it begins and ends with education. This will continue to be at the forefront of all that we do in El Salvador and our educational initiatives across the globe.
Bitcoinforthe100 is a collection of these stories and use cases that prove that Bitcoin is truly for the 100%. From the small community of Isla Tasajera to a student on the path to self-sovereignty, below are the voices of people who are embracing Bitcoin for greater financial freedom.
— Renata Rodrigues, Global Community and Education Lead, Paxful
Bitcoin For My Community: Don Walter, Isla Tasajera, El Salvador
Don first heard about Bitcoin when the Built With Bitcoin Foundation made its way to Isla Tasajera where he lives. Before the foundation arrived, Don and other residents only knew that the government had given citizens a bit of BTC, but they didn’t know what to do with it. “Due to the difficulty of Internet connection and therefore a lack of knowledge, we didn’t know much about Bitcoin,” he said.
With the arrival of the foundation, Don and his neighbors received Bitcoin education, training and an overall improvement of “payment transactions, purchases, and sales.” As for Don himself, he prides himself on “managing to learn everything that Bitcoin can do for the community.”
Don has seen firsthand how Bitcoin can change the lives of his community — through new opportunities. “Bitcoin has brought us great opportunities, especially the positive impact it’s had on the San Rafael Tasajera Canton School Center,” he said. The students and teachers of the school had a hard time getting to and from the school because of its location on the island. Because of a generous donation, they don’t need to worry about how they’ll get to school anymore — the Built With Bitcoin Foundation and Bitcoin Magazine donated a boat to the community to make school more accessible.
Don’s new knowledge of Bitcoin has motivated him to learn more about how he can use it in his everyday life to better himself and the community around him. He remains hopeful that Bitcoin will continue to advance not only his community, but also the world as a whole. “Bitcoin will make things easier and more accessible for us all,” he said.
Learn more about Don’s story here.
Bitcoin For Inclusion: Nathaly Maria Cortez, San Salvador, El Salvador
While studying international economics at Universidad Francisco Gavidia (UFG), Nathaly decided to take a leap of faith and signed up for the first campus tour that Paxful held in the country to teach students about Bitcoin and the power of peer-to-peer technology. Nathaly walked away from the seminar excited and hopeful — for both herself and her community. “Bitcoin is a huge strategy to grow and develop the dichotomy of the Salvadorans,” she said.
A few months after the seminar, Paxful announced the opening of “La Casa del Bitcoin” in El Salvador — home to free Bitcoin education for anyone. Nathaly knew she needed to be a part of it.
On opening day of La Casa del Bitcoin, Nathaly got a sneak peek of what was to come. “Bitcoin is about financial inclusion, and we have a place to learn about it now,” she said. From the classrooms to the working stations, anyone can find their place at La Casa del Bitcoin.
Nathaly has made it her personal mission to further educate those around her about the power Bitcoin holds. “I currently advise family and relatives on the subject of Bitcoin because some people do not have access to banking or the traditional financial system.”
Learn more about Nathaly’s story here.
This is a guest post by Renata Rodrigues. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.