El Salvador’s Bitcoin Bet Isn’t Paying Off

It brought El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, the adulation of the tech community, but reduced scarce funds and moved the nation closer to default.

#bitcoin-currency, #bukele-nayib, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #el-salvador, #london-school-of-economics, #mobile-applications, #national-bureau-of-economic-research, #politics-and-government, #university-of-chicago, #virtual-currency

In El Salvador, Bitcoin Is Nothing More Than Authoritarian Propaganda

The country’s cryptocurrency paradise is a mirage.

#bitcoin-currency, #bukele-nayib, #credit-and-debt, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #el-salvador, #freedom-of-the-press, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #politics-and-government, #poverty

Biden to Host Latin American Leaders at Summit in Los Angeles

The president is already the subject of a boycott by some of the region’s most important heads of state, and his agenda is being met with deep skepticism.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #el-salvador, #guatemala, #harris-kamala-d, #honduras, #illegal-immigration, #immigration-and-emigration, #latin-america, #los-angeles-calif, #mexico, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

Crashing Crypto: Is This Time Different?

Celebrity endorsements may signal the end of an era.

#adams-eric-l, #banking-and-financial-institutions, #bitcoin-currency, #economics-theory-and-philosophy, #el-salvador, #internal-sub-only-nl, #international-trade-and-world-market, #virtual-currency

Families Reel Outside El Salvador Prisons After Gang Violence Crackdowns

Dozens of women wait outside a detention facility for news of their loved ones after a crackdown on gang violence resulted in the imprisonment of more than 25,000 people.

#bukele-nayib, #el-salvador, #gangs, #latin-america

El Salvador buys more bitcoin after ratings agency downgrades its debt

Nayib Bukele, president of El Salvador.

Enlarge / Nayib Bukele, president of El Salvador. (credit: Kellys Portillo/APHOTOGRAFIA/Getty Images)

Bitcoin’s price has plunged in recent days, briefly falling below $30,000 on Monday evening and again on Wednesday morning. Nayib Bukele, the bitcoin-boosting president of El Salvador, sees bitcoin’s low price as a buying opportunity. He announced on Monday that El Salvador had purchased another 500 bitcoin. With one bitcoin worth around $31,000, this represented a $15.5 million bet.

Bukele has made the embrace of bitcoin a signature of his presidency. Last year, El Salvador became the first nation in the world to make bitcoin legal tender alongside the US dollar. In an effort to encourage adoption of bitcoin, El Salvador launched wallet software called Chivo and offered Salvadorans $30 if they gave it a try.

Bloomberg calculates that El Salvador has accumulated a total of 2,301 bitcoins since it started buying them last September. Most were bought at prices above $45,000, so this nation of 6 million people has lost tens of millions of dollars speculating on bitcoin.

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#coinbase, #el-salvador, #nayib-bukele, #policy

Nayib Bukele reprime las libertades civiles en El Salvador y conserva su popularidad

Una gran parte de los salvadoreños está dispuesta a tolerar a un líder de tendencias autoritarias a cambio de la solución a su preocupación más acuciante: la violencia de las pandillas.

#bukele-nayib, #civil-rights-and-liberties, #el-salvador, #gangs, #mara-salvatrucha-ms-13

In El Salvador, the President Cracks Down on Civil Liberties

Much of the country’s population is willing to tolerate an autocratic leader, if it means that someone will finally solve their most pressing problem: gang violence.

#bukele-nayib, #civil-rights-and-liberties, #el-salvador, #gangs, #mara-salvatrucha-ms-13

Guadalupe Maravilla as Artist and Healer

Guadalupe Maravilla’s sculptures at the Brooklyn Museum and MoMA explore the trauma caused by war, migration and family separation.

#art, #brooklyn-museum, #content-type-personal-profile, #el-salvador, #maravilla-guadalupe, #museum-of-modern-art, #museums, #sculpture

El Salvador’s New Law on Gangs Raises Censorship Fears

A measure punishing the sharing of information about gangs is so vague, critics say, that virtually anyone can be arrested for speaking or writing about them, putting journalists in the cross hairs.

#bukele-nayib, #el-salvador, #freedom-of-the-press, #gangs, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #politics-and-government

Explosion of Gang Violence Grips El Salvador, Setting Record

Gangs went on a killing spree, gunning down anyone on the street. At least 62 were killed on Saturday, the deadliest day on record since the country’s civil war ended 30 years ago.

#bukele-nayib, #el-salvador, #gangs, #latin-america, #mara-salvatrucha-ms-13

Journalists in El Salvador Targeted With Spyware Intended for Criminals

The announcement came months after the U.S. government blacklisted the Israeli firm that produces Pegasus, the technology used to target the journalists.

#access-now, #bukele-nayib, #cyberattacks-and-hackers, #el-faro, #el-salvador, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #nso-group, #surveillance-of-citizens-by-government

El Salvador Releases 3 Women Serving Long Prison Sentences for Abortions

The three women, who had suffered obstetric emergencies, had been sentenced to 30 years in prison under the nation’s strict anti-abortion laws.

#abortion, #bukele-nayib, #el-salvador, #politics-and-government, #women-and-girls

Ex-Panama President’s Sons Are Extradited to U.S. After Multicountry Chase

Two sons of the former president Ricardo Martinelli fled the United States by Uber, private jet and an “unknown vessel,” prosecutors said. The second has now been extradited, weeks after his brother.

#braskem-sa, #brazil, #el-salvador, #extradition, #guatemala, #guatemala-city-guatemala, #martinelli-ricardo, #money-laundering, #odebrecht-sa, #panama

Raids on Independent Groups in El Salvador Raise Fears of Repression

President Nayib Bukele bills himself as a young reformer, but a crackdown on voices outside the government’s control is fueling claims of growing authoritarianism.

#bukele-nayib, #el-faro, #el-salvador

Banks Tried to Kill Crypto and Failed. Now They’re Embracing It (Slowly).

Digital payments technology is forcing the financial system to evolve. Banks feel their power waning and want to regain control.

#american-bankers-assn, #bank-of-america-corporation, #bank-of-new-york-mellon-corporation, #banking-and-financial-institutions, #bitcoin-currency, #blockchain-technology, #cohen-h-rodgin, #currency, #dimon-james, #el-salvador, #federal-reserve-system, #jpmorgan-chasecompany, #montag-thomas-k, #moynihan-brian-t, #new-york-city, #northern-trust-corporation, #office-of-the-comptroller-of-the-currency, #sullivancromwell, #us-bancorp, #us-dollar-currency, #virtual-currency

How El Salvador Is Testing Bitcoin’s Promise of Financial Liberty

As cryptocurrency enters global finance, an experiment in El Salvador could offer clues on whether it will bring a more libertarian economy or greater government control.

#banking-and-financial-institutions, #bitcoin-currency, #bukele-nayib, #el-salvador, #remittances

Bitcoin Cosplay Is Getting Real

The biggest worry about Bitcoin is that politicians will start taking it seriously.

#bitcoin-currency, #el-salvador, #virtual-currency

El Salvador’s Bitcoin Adoption Is Marred by Glitches

Experts had raised concerns about making the digital token an official currency and the rapid execution of new technology on a national scale.

#bitcoin-currency, #bukele-nayib, #el-salvador, #microstrategy-inc, #mobile-commerce-and-payments, #virtual-currency

In Global First, El Salvador Adopts Bitcoin as Currency

President Nayib Bukele has promoted the cryptocurrency as a path to financial freedom, but economic experts and many Salvadorans worry the move brings great risks.

#bitcoin-currency, #bukele-nayib, #currency, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #el-salvador, #latin-america

El Salvador’s Secret Weapon: a Fan and His Computer

The revival of El Salvador’s soccer team is a tribute to better organization, coaching and talent. But it also owes a debt to a fan with a gift for scouting.

#el-salvador, #pulisic-christian-1998, #salvadoran-americans, #soccer, #united-states-mens-national-soccer-team, #world-cup-2026-soccer

El dilema de EE. UU. en Guatemala: ¿detener la corrupción o la migración?

El presidente Joe Biden prometió abordar la corrupción en Centroamérica, un propósito que ha tenido que pasar a segundo plano para lograr un clima de cooperación que reduzca el flujo migratorio.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #central-america, #corruption-institutional, #el-salvador, #giammattei-alejandro, #immigration-and-emigration, #refugees-and-displaced-persons, #united-states-international-relations

Biden Faces a Trade-Off: Stop Corruption, or Migration?

President Biden promised to attack corruption in Central America head on, but that goal has taken a back seat to cooperating on stopping migrants from the region.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #central-america, #corruption-institutional, #el-salvador, #giammattei-alejandro, #immigration-and-emigration, #refugees-and-displaced-persons, #united-states-international-relations

House Hunting in El Salvador: A Compound on the Coast for $249,000

Home prices are gradually recovering in the Central American nation, but are still low enough to lure droves of buyers to the beaches.

#central-america, #el-salvador, #real-estate-and-housing-residential

World Bank slams bitcoin, declines to help El Salvador’s cryptocurrency plan

World Bank slams bitcoin, declines to help El Salvador’s cryptocurrency plan

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images)

Last week, El Salvador’s government passed a law to accept bitcoin as legal tender alongside the US dollar. The country receives $6 billion in remittances per year—nearly a quarter of its gross domestic product—and the hope is that bitcoin’s lower transaction costs could boost that amount by a few percentage points.

The move was first proposed by the country’s president, Nayib Bukele, who said he hoped that in addition to facilitating lower remittance fees, the bitcoin plan would attract investment and provide an avenue for savings for residents, about 70 percent of whom are unbanked. (What Bukele didn’t say, but what Bloomberg has reported, is that he and members of his political party have owned bitcoin for years.)

Adding the cryptocurrency to the roster isn’t a simple task, though, and the new law gives the country just three months to roll the plan out nationwide. No country has ever used bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency as legal tender, and challenges abound. To address those concerns, El Salvador turned to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund for assistance; the latter is currently considering a $1.3 billion financing request from the country.

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#bitcoin, #cryptocurrency, #currency, #el-salvador, #imf, #policy, #world-bank

Bitcoin now legal tender in El Salvador, first nation to adopt cryptocurrency

El Salvador now says both US dollars and bitcoin are legal tender.

Enlarge / El Salvador now says both US dollars and bitcoin are legal tender. (credit: Thomas Trutschel / Getty Images News)

On Wednesday, El Salvador’s president signed into law a proposal to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, making the Central American nation the first in the world to officially use the cryptocurrency.

The new law says that companies must accept bitcoin as a form of payment, and the government will allow people to pay taxes with it as well. The exchange rate with the dollar will be set by the market, and exchanges from dollars to bitcoin won’t be subject to capital gains tax. The law was passed by a supermajority vote of the legislature, with 62 of 84 deputies assenting.

President Nayib Bukele said the new law would make it easier for Salvadorans living abroad to send remittances back to friends and family in the country. Some $6 billion in remittances flowed into the Salvadoran economy last year, accounting for nearly a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product. Around 70 percent of Salvadorans lack access to traditional banking and other financial services within the country, the president said. The 39-year-old leader hopes that sending remittances will become cheaper, too. Last year, the average fee was 3 percent per transaction. Eliminating that fee would net Salvadorans an additional $180 million.

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#bitcoin, #central-bank, #cryptocurrency, #currency, #el-salvador, #policy

Their Lawsuit Prevented 400,000 Deportations. Now It’s Biden’s Call.

Trump tried to end a 30-year program that shielded migrants, many fleeing conditions that U.S. foreign policy helped foster. What does America owe them?

#asylum-right-of, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #bush-george-w, #carter-jimmy, #el-salvador, #immigration-and-emigration, #politics-and-government, #reagan-ronald-wilson, #united-states-international-relations

Killing of Salvadoran Refugee by Police in Mexico Incites Furor

Videos echoing the death of George Floyd showed a police officer kneeling on the back of the woman, who died of a broken spine, just days before an international forum on gender equality began in Mexico.

#deaths-fatalities, #el-salvador, #lopez-obrador-andres-manuel, #mexico, #police-brutality-misconduct-and-shootings, #refugees-and-displaced-persons, #womens-rights

Surge in Migrants Defies Easy or Quick Solutions for Biden

The administration expects more apprehensions at the border this year than at any point in the past two decades. Enacting policy to deal with the problems faces deep-rooted political and logistical challenges.

#arizona, #asylum-right-of, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #border-patrol-us, #california, #children-and-childhood, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #customs-and-border-protection-us, #el-salvador, #guatemala, #health-and-human-services-department, #homeland-security-department, #illegal-immigration, #immigration-and-emigration, #mayorkas-alejandro, #mexico, #texas, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-economy, #united-states-politics-and-government

After El Salvador Election, Bukele Is on Verge of Near-Total Control

The party of President Nayib Bukele is set to take a sweeping majority in El Salvador’s Congress, giving the populist leader broad new powers.

#bukele-nayib, #el-salvador, #elections, #politics-and-government, #united-states-international-relations

Bukele, Combative but Popular, May Tighten Grip in El Salvador Elections

Nayib Bukele, who has drawn criticism abroad for his strongman displays, is expected to expand his mandate in legislative elections that could deliver his party a decisive victory.

#bukele-nayib, #el-salvador, #elections, #united-states-international-relations

Carlos Araujo Preza, Doctor on the Pandemic’s Front Lines, Dies at 51

A pulmonologist, he tested positive for Covid-19 and was treated at the same hospital where he once saw patients. He died of the disease.

#araujo-preza-carlos-1968-2020, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-obituaries, #el-salvador, #hospitals

400,000 Immigrants Can Be Forced to Leave the U.S., Court Rules

People from countries like El Salvador and Haiti who won temporary protected status after fleeing natural disaster and war can be forced to return home, a federal appeals court ruled.

#appeals-courts-us, #decisions-and-verdicts, #el-salvador, #haiti, #honduras, #immigration-and-emigration, #nepal, #nicaragua, #sudan, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government

A Salvadoran-American Assembles the Fragments of a Violent Cultural History

“Unforgetting,” by the journalist Roberto Lovato, examines the long and bloody relationship between the United States and El Salvador through the prism of his family.

#books-and-literature, #el-salvador, #immigration-and-emigration, #lovato-robert-1963, #salvadoran-americans, #san-francisco-calif, #unforgetting-a-memoir-of-family-migration-gangs-and-revolution-in-the-americas-book, #war-crimes-genocide-and-crimes-against-humanity

Virus Gains Steam Across Latin America

Inequality, densely packed cities, legions of informal workers and weak health care systems have undermined efforts to fight the pandemic, as some governments have fumbled the response.

#brazil, #chile, #colombia, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #ecuador, #el-salvador, #latin-america, #mexico, #peru

Cristobal Threatens Gulf Coast From Louisiana to Florida

The third named storm of what is predicted to be an intense hurricane season is expected to make landfall on Sunday.

#climate-change, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #el-salvador, #florida, #global-warming, #guatemala, #gulf-coast-us, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms, #louisiana, #mexico

Young Leader Vowed Change in El Salvador but Wields Same Heavy Hand

Elected as a transformative leader who would propel the country forward, Nayib Bukele is now reminding critics of the country’s past autocrats, with his reliance on the military.

#bukele-nayib, #el-salvador, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #millennial-generation, #organized-crime, #polls-and-public-opinion, #quarantines