Did Bitcoin kill El Salvador? President Bukele responds to his critics

In recent days, several economists, journalists and bankers have presented the Salvadoran economy as being in regression due to the legalization of Bitcoin, whose value continues to plummet. In response to the often uninformed and ill-intentioned criticism, El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has published an op-ed in which he presents the results of year one of the legalization of Bitcoin in his country. In addition, the Salvadoran head of state sets himself up as a defender of Bitcoin and the alternative financial system it promotes.

No, the economy of El Salvador is not destroyed

After his decision to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador, El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has been the target of constant criticism. Several reputable newspapers such as BFMtv, The New York Times, Les Echos, … have notably presented El Salvador as being on the verge of economic collapse because of Bitcoin.

In an article published in Bitcoin Magazine, Nayib Bukele responded to those who accuse him of having bled his country’s economy by formalizing Bitcoin.

For him, the apocalyptic discourse on El Salvador is essentially carried by the powerful global elites whose power to control is seriously threatened by Bitcoin.

This global elite consists of the world’s banks, NGOs, media, international organizations, governments and corporations. They control everything, “even the truth,” he says.

For example, the president of El Salvador blames the fact that his country’s economy is being portrayed as destroyed because of the loss of $50 million due to the fall in the value of Bitcoin. Yet the country hasn’t sold any of its Bitcoins, so it hasn’t lost anything. And even if El Salvador had sold its Bitcoins, a loss of $50 million can in no way bankrupt a state whose economy is worth more than $28 billion, Bukele maintains.

The argument that we lost $50 million because of bitcoin is false, because we simply did not sell any bitcoins. And even if we were to accept this argument as true, then it would be ridiculous to conclude that a $28 billion a year economy will go bankrupt or default because of a 0.2% “loss” in one year, when in 2021 our economy grew by 10.3%, or $4 billion.

Nayib Bukele, President of El Salvador

The true face of El Salvador’s economy in 2021

To cut through the lies about the economy of his country, Nayib Bukele presented some indicators of the state of the economy of El Salvador. To do this, he used public information that can be verified quite easily.

Among other things, the Salvadoran president reported that in 2021 there was a clear increase in GDP (10.3%), tourism revenues (52%), employment (7%), new businesses (12%), exports (17%), energy production (19%), energy exports (3,291%) and internal revenues (37%).

All of this progress has been achieved without raising taxes, the head of state insists. As a result, the popularity of the Nayib Bukele government has risen steadily, reaching 90 per cent last year, he said.

El Salvador has also been portrayed as a state unable to meet its debts because of Bitcoin. The country is heading towards default, the “experts” predicted. All this is false, says the Salvadoran president. His country has prepaid its debts and redeemed all of its 2023 and 2025 bonds.

Why are they attacking El Salvador so much?

For Nayib Bukele, the misleading rhetoric around El Salvador’s economy was predictable. Indeed, the establishment of Bitcoin as a national currency fights the financial system that enriches the few at the expense of the many. The Bitcoin revolution unleashed by El Salvador is thus a fight for a world of justice, dignity and freedom. The world’s powerful elites know that if El Salvador succeeds in its Bitcoin revolution, it will be followed by many other states.

El Salvador is the epicenter of Bitcoin adoption, and thus economic freedom, financial sovereignty, resistance to censorship, non-taxable wealth, and the end of kingmakers, their printing, devaluation, and reallocation of wealth from the majorities to the interest groups, the elites, the oligarchs, and those in the shadows behind them, pulling their strings. If El Salvador succeeds, many countries will follow.

Nayib Bukele, Président du Salvador

Nayib Bukele does not just present himself as a country’s president. Above all, he sets himself up as a defender of Bitcoin. As he demonstrates, the opinions of the “experts” around Bitcoin are often mixed with a lot of misinformation. This is done intentionally or just because of a lack of necessary expertise. Bitcoin is disrupting the established order and its adoption can only be largely resisted by the powerful. Bitcoin advocates must be fully aware of this.