South America is going Bitcoin crazy: Argentina, Brazil, Panama, Paraguay, Nicaragua and El Salvador

June 12, 2021, 2:30 PM AEST (updated June 17, 2021)

Bitcoin’s influence is having a domino effect across almost the entire South American continent as crypto-fever rises in neighbouring countries south of the border from the US.

El Salvador is Leading the Way

El Salvador passed a bill this month to become the first country in the world to approve Bitcoin as legal currency. Late on June 8, the two-paged proposal put forward by 39-year-old El Salvadorean President Nayib Bukele was voted in by Congress with a supermajority in favour of the new Bitcoin law.

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele

President Bukele is undoubtedly one of the coolest political leaders pushing crypto forward, even adopting laser eyes for his Twitter profile. He is a Bitcoin supporter who has put El Salvador on the map, making history as the first nation to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender.

The Rest of South America to Follow

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency entrepreneur Tyler Winkelvoss tweeted about the South American countries following El Salvador’s lead:

Panamanian congressman Gabriel Silva posted on Twitter (also sporting laser eyes as part of a meme contest) that he was preparing a proposal to present at the national assembly.

This is important, and Panama cannot be left behind. If we want to be a true technology and entrepreneurship hub, we have to support cryptocurrencies.

Gabriel Silva, Panamanian congressman

Argentina is also looking at Bitcoin as its inflation soars above 42.6%. Argentinian congressman Francisco Sanchez joined in the laser eyes meme, as did two Brazilian congressmen.

Adios Capital Gains, Hola Bitcoin!

It isn’t hard to understand why Latin American countries would be so supportive of cryptocurrency adoption. For Salvadoreans living abroad, using Bitcoin instead of cash (with its high international transaction costs) will make it easier, faster and far cheaper to send money home. The new law will also open up financial services to the 70 percent of Salvadoreans who do not have bank accounts.

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