Since El Salvador’s announcement to make Bitcoin legal tender, politicians in Latin America have been actively showing support to this new economy, one that will make Latin America a hub for crypto innovation.
Earlier in May, Mercado Libre, the e-commerce giant of Latin America, with its main headquarters in Argentina, announced a purchase of 7.8 million worth of BTC. Mercado Libre has a market share of approximately 174 million users in Latin America alone and having Bitcoin in their balance sheet further amplifies their financial strategy in the near future. The conversation around crypto is growing in Latin America, with the likelihood of more happening into 2022.
Below you will find a brief look at 5 lawmakers that are taking the lead and welcoming crypto conversations in Latin America. Through their voice, crypto adoption is inevitable.
Gilson Marques — Brazil
Marques is a part of the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil and has shown great support towards bitcoin due to his libertarian beliefs. On June 7th of this year, Marques posted his laser eyes profile picture, illustrating his support of bitcoin, with the hashtag “taxation is theft.” Marques is part of the Novo Party, a libertarian Brazilian party, with a strong neoliberal belief that government should lack intervention in the state. He is excited about the future of bitcoin because once countries start to recognize bitcoin as a legal tender, banks will be expected to adopt cryptocurrency and will not be able to shut it down. Bitcoin reflects his perfect idea of a free state and open market.
Carlos Relaja — Paraguay
One of the most spoken characters of the week as he proposes a new Bitcoin law in Paraguay. Relaja has shown interest in the regularization of Bitcoin and other crypto-assets with the purpose to make Paraguay a crypto hub. Last week, Relaja and Fernando Silva submitted a bill to congress to regulate crypto assets to establish rules of legal, financial, and fiscal security. His goal is to attract mining and investing opportunities using their low rates of hydroelectric energy and regulatory advantages.
While Relaja is a supporter of crypto assets, he is also a big believer of regulation and centralization, making statements that he is not interested in making Bitcoin a legal tender, but rather allowing regulators and banks to participate in their crypto economy.
Francisco Sanchez — Argentina
Sanchez posted a laser eyes picture stating “ I can’t believe it, but that’s how it is.” While he has not had much to say after that, Argentine lawmakers last week presented a bill allowing workers to be paid in cryptocurrency.
Argentina has suffered one of the most severe recessions of the year, with annual inflation of over 50%. Due to the economic landscape of the country, Argentinians have been using cryptocurrency to conserve their purchasing power and acquire other sources of income. Due to government-subsidized electricity, mining has become an attractive activity, with growing numbers of people interested in large-scale mining in the country. Using crypto for salaries will make things easier by strengthening the Argentinian economy and alleviating the current inflation.
Gabriel Silva — Panama
After El Salvador announced the introduction of the bill to make bitcoin a legal tender, Silva announced his support towards Bitcon by stating that Panama can not be left behind, as they have to support cryptocurrency if they want to become a hub of technology and entrepreneurship.
Silva’s enthusiastic support faces many barriers considering that he belongs to an independent non-majority party and it won’t be as easy as what took place in El Salvador. While Panama might resist his proposition, as more and more countries use Bitcoin, Panama won’t have any other alternative but to allow bitcoin as a legal tender.
Nayib Bukele — El Salvador
Nayib Bukele has been an early advocate of Bitcoin, tweeting about it in 2017, and being frowned upon by the Salvadorian government and banking institutions. Now as president, he has been able to take the lead in crypto innovation, making Bitcoin a legal tender of the country. He has made multiple statements about the importance of helping the unbanked and boosting El Salvador’s economy through financial innovation.
Bitcoin Beach was a huge wake-up, realizing the potential of a small but mighty nation. With little to lose and much to win, Bukele is inspiring leaders around the world to take a stand in crypto adoption. With Bitcoin to be adopted in September and Volcano mining on the way, Bukele will go down in history as a leader and visionary, matching his Twitter Bio as the “Republic of the Savior”.
While most people often look at Latin America as a helpless continent, one that has fallen behind in technology and enterprise, crypto represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for innovation and generational change. El Salvador will be a key player in the debate of bitcoin in Latin America, as many countries will look for guidance in bitcoin adoption.
The remainder of this year is going to be exciting.