El Salvador became the first country to accept Bitcoin as legal tender. Now it’s offering citizenship for a $1 million ‘investment’

The government of El Salvador, in partnership with stablecoin company Tether, recently launched a new initiative called “Adopting El Salvador Freedom”. This program offers foreigners the opportunity to obtain a Salvadoran passport in exchange for a $1 million payment in Bitcoin.

This initiative comes after President Nayib Bukele’s controversial decision in 2021 to make Bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador, requiring businesses to accept the cryptocurrency and introducing a digital wallet called “Chivo.” Although the move was met with protests and concerns about Bukele’s autocratic tendencies, it also attracted international attention from Bitcoin supporters.

Despite the backlash and slow local adoption, El Salvador has seen an influx of Bitcoin enthusiasts from around the world, with the country’s tourism minister reporting a surge in traveler numbers. Additionally, a decrease in crime, driven by Bukele’s controversial policies against gang members, has further incentivized Bitcoin supporters to visit the country.

The joint initiative with Tether represents a new phase in El Salvador’s commitment to Bitcoin, supported by Bukele’s claim that his investment in Bitcoin has become profitable due to a recent price rally.

The program enables participants to obtain a Salvadoran passport through a one-time payment of $1 million in Bitcoin, described as an “investment” by Tether. Interested individuals are required to pay a non-refundable deposit of $999 in Bitcoin and Ether to start the process.

While the initiative has drawn attention from the international crypto community, concerns have been raised about the impact on lower-income families in El Salvador, particularly in coastal cities like El Zonte where Bitcoin enthusiasts are flocking.

In addition to this recent development, it’s important to note the historic background of El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin, including Bukele’s controversial policies and the country’s experience with cryptocurrency.

This controversial move has put El Salvador at the center of the debate on the future of digital currencies and their impact on economies and societies.

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