Adopting Bitcoin: El Salvador Has Work To Do, But The Experiment Is Worth Celebrating

This opinion editorial is by Rikki, author/host of the “Bitcoin Italia” and “Stupefatti” podcasts. He is one half the Bitcoin Explorers with Laura. They chronicle Bitcoin adoption around each country. We are back on the road. Direction: San Salvador. The Bitcoin community will gather here for Adopting Bitcoin. This is the last major Bitcoin conference of the year. Friends and Bitcoiners from all over the world will be flying to the country to promote Bitcoin adoption. It is unknown how many of them were familiar with the country before the “Ley Bitcoin”. It was an historic moment. So, to be able to see our first Bitcoin graduates in real life was a special treat. It was a close-knit circle. Our technological and nonviolent revolution can only be achieved through mass education. Our awakening in San Salvador the next day was not only through the decree of laws. We decided to do something new in El Salvador, and went to Starbucks. We saw many videos on Twitter last year of bitcoin transactions at this chain and felt confident that this coffee shop would be able to accommodate our needs. We said, “Two cappuccinos and 2 chocolate muffins please.” “We will pay with bitcoin!” Silence. The waitress’s lost look was only one thing. She had never used Bitcoin before and didn’t know how to accept our payment. Her colleague came to her rescue, but she couldn’t remember the password for their Chivo wallet. No dice. We went to the next McDonald’s with the same intention. Here is the real surprise: The password for the Chivo app was not remembered by even the McDonald’s manager. The same restaurant was decorated with illuminated “pay your burger in Bitcoin!” signs less than a year ago. signs. Unbelievable. We remembered that the restaurant’s automated check-outs could create a Bitcoin QR code without the need for a password, so we asked the staff to test it. It worked! It was a difficult task. The final test of 16-year-olds and 17-year olds was held the day before. They proved to be perfectly capable of creating and managing non-custodial Bitcoin wallets, importing them into new devices and making on-chain transactions. We found ourselves drinking watered down coffee at a venue where staff couldn’t remember our application PIN. Adopting BitcoinThe conference was beautiful, well-organized. It was great to see so many familiar faces from around the globe again. The panel was well-organized and the audience was very active. I spent the night taking notes. I don’t like the term orange pilling, but I wish that teaching bitcoin was as simple as swallowing a pill. It is misleading. Understanding Bitcoin is a tedious and time-consuming task. It has been so long since “have fun staying poor”, and its price doesn’t even matter to me. Its technology and the social revolution that it is bringing are the only factors that determine its price. If someone in El Salvador understands that bitcoin is fundamental to their survival, then they know everything. This is what I call the “orange pilling moment”. It all depends on the person I am talking to. If it’s a complete newcomer to the field, I choose Wallet Of Satoshi. Lightning transactions are incredible. It is true that it is custodial (not your coins, keys). It is, however, a wonderful user experience. It’s quick and easy with just two buttons. It works like a charm. Blue Wallet is the best choice if I’m talking to someone who knows a lot about the technology. You can have two wallets in this application: one for the Lightning Network and one for the non-custodial Bitcoin wallet. It’s very helpful to clearly distinguish between Layer 1 and Layer 2. To pay for coffee with Lightning Network, you will need to move your bitcoins from Layer 1 to Layer 2. It is still very early in our work. We, Bitcoiners, would love to see this technology used in the real world as soon as we can. History has shown us that this is unlikely to be possible. Think about credit cards: In 1950, Frank McNamara created the Diners Club, which was the first credit card in the world. Credit cards became relevant only after this event. Bitcoin is not only a disruptive technology but also a philosophical achievement. Many pre-coiners don’t believe they need it, and it doesn’t solve any problems. This creature needs to be allowed to develop slowly and we must be patient. When will hyperbitcoinization be possible? I wonder what this word means. The diffusion of technology that transmits value instantly and without boundaries. This is not hyperbitcoinization to me. Bitcoin will allow us vote in a distributed system, and to certify in a distributed system. It will allow us to disintermediate any trust process sooner or later. Trust is dead. The notes worked and the panel was very successful. There were roars of applause and lots of compliments.Sunbathing In Bitcoin BeachThe third day of the conference was a chance to socialize as we sunbathed at Bitcoin Beach in El Zonte.We are so immersed in Bitcoin that sometimes we forget to be analytical and really rationalize what is happening to us and to the world around us. Let’s be honest, we were in Central America and the music of the Pacific Ocean crashing against the volcanic rocks and black sand of the coast was our soundtrack. We were surrounded by exotic animals, amazing sunsets, and tropical vegetation. Many people from many different countries have gathered there. It was a great way to sharpen your hearing by learning different accents and languages. All of this was possible because of the ingenuity of a pseudonymous scientist, who dreamed big enough to create something that could change the world. This thing is amazing by itself. Bitcoin has already made our lives better, irreversibly. It has already made a significant impact on the lives of many who have been able to use this idea to embed it in their jobs, or to create a new job. These are just a few of the many examples. There are many technical people like journalists, developers, and entrepreneurs. But there are many creative people. A young Indian man decides to travel the globe in Bitcoin, visiting 40 countries in just 400 days. The American couple who have fun while teaching. The journalist who, once he has fallen down the rabbit hole and is now completely focused on Bitcoin. The driver who sees his business scale in ways he could not have imagined thanks to Bitcoiners. The small coffee producer who exports by getting paid instantly and without any fees. We could list similar cases for hours. Let’s be honest, these are not big things. These are just a few examples. It may take some resourcefulness and a little bit of madness to turn your dreams into reality with Bitcoin. It is possible. Bitcoin works. It can change the lives of people who are able to seize opportunities. The sun set quickly behind El Zonte. For an IBEX conference party, we all met at Palo Verde hotel. All our friends, as well as those we love, were there. After having a bite to eat, we chatted for a while before the music began. Nothing is more liberating than being on the beach with your feet in the sand. Although it was extremely hot, the dance floor was still packed. We were given tickets to enter a raffle, and prizes were drawn. One person in our group won a very nice bottle of whiskey. That’s it. We knew what the hangover headache would be like as soon as the amber liquid began to trickle down our throats. We knew what the hangover headache would be like after the music had ended. These opinions are not necessarily those of Bitcoin Magazine or BTC Inc.

 

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