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Bitcoin-Friendly El Salvador Poised to Become Financial Center of the Americas, Says VanEck Strategy Adviser

Sead Fadilpašić
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: AdobeStock / brizardh

Incoming investment capital and immigration will lead to a major economic shift that will turn El Salvador into a financial center, argued Gabor Gurbacs, strategy adviser of investment management giant VanEck.

Gurbacs tweeted that,

“I say often to portfolio managers and asset allocators that El Salvador has the potential to become the Singapore of the Americas. I expect continued increase in immigration to, capital investment in and overall growth in El Salvador.”

In the 1990s, Singapore recovered strongly from the 1985-86 recession, in part thanks to the foreign direct investment (FDI)-led economic expansion in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

And over the past years, it emerged as a major crypto/blockchain/Web3 hub.

Singapore has also been named the preferred destination for crypto millionaires seeking secure and tax-friendly havens to protect their digital assets.

Even though Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao opined that the country’s approach to digital assets has become more “conservative,” particularly after the collapse of the FTX exchange, companies continue expanding and seeking business there. For example, in early October, Coinbase secured a full major payment institution license under Singapore’s Payment Services Act.

El Salvador Rising

Gurbacs’s tweet was a reply to a comment posted by Bitcoiner Max Keiser, calling for people to move to El Salvador.

Keiser called the Central American country “The New Land of the Free,” taking a jab at the USA.

Keiser lives in El Salvador, advises its president Nayib Bukele, and serves as the executive chairman of the Bitcoin mining operation startup Volcano Energy, which launched in June following a $1 billion investment.

How are this startup and Keiser’s connection to the President relevant?

In September 2021, El Salvador famously made Bitcoin legal tender, and it launched a custodial wallet called Chivo Wallet – both of which have since been heavily criticized.

Nonetheless, El Salvador pushed on with its Bitcoin plans, including creating a Bitcoin City and using volcanic resources to power the above-mentioned Volcano Energy.

Earlier this month, El Salvador announced the launch of Lava Pool, the country’s first Bitcoin mining pool powered entirely by renewable geothermal energy. It was a combined effort of Volcano Energy and tech giant Luxor Technology.

Meanwhile, Bukele formally filed for re-election in next year’s polls, a move critics say is against the country’s constitution.

Notably, as all of that was happening, El Salvador’s sovereign bonds yielded a 70% return by August.

Also, in September, the Ministry of Education started a pilot program to teach 150 public school teachers about Bitcoin. These teachers then returned to their schools across the country to transfer the knowledge to their students.

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