So first of all, let me say that I was debating with myself whether to post this. I*m not sure whether this is actually my opinion and I might change it if somebody convinces me. But hear me out first:

I really think Nayib Bukele is doing something pretty problematic with El Salvador.

  • The Chivo App is basically a banking app by the government.
  • There id no proof that the dollars in the app are actually backed by dollars. We know how much Bitcoin they hold. We don't know how many dollars are in all apps combined.
  • It could be very thinly stretched classical fractional banking. How can we as Bitcoiners just ignore that?
  • It could be even worse turning a whole country in a Ponzi Sheme and the Bitcoin just a pr-stunt. The actual way to do this would be in the Bitcoin spirit with KYC Bitcoin ATMs - whicht might even have been the easier infrastructure to set up.
  • If this bold move fails it might even be worse for Bitcoin than the adoption was good for it. Slow and steady adoption might have been the safer way.

On the other hand:

  • Bitcoin adoption is just a net good
  • Even if it was a dollar based Ponzi ... it might actually work out? They could just print dollars which might catapult the economy out of being 3rd world without the actual inflation when people think they are 1:1 dollars. And ElSalvador is irrelevant in the overall money of the US. Very difficult to pull off without a collapse in the end and I don't think there is a reasonable exit strategy.

And all of this is besides Nayib Bukele being a brutal military dictator.

Are Bitcoiners so homogeneous in their views that this question even makes sense?

Bitcoiners, the population of the singular and homogeneous "Bitcoin community" do not agree on everything, or even, given the breadth of utility of bitcoin, very much at all.

And that's why bitcoin is great. It doesn't care.

So if you have concerns about the El Salvador situation, feel free to express them. But don't try and attribute them to all of some made up group.

Thanks. That really makes it better. I agree there is no one homogeneous group of Bitcoiners. There isn't even a homogenous set of opinions in most humans - and that is not a bad thing.

I just think we haven't really talked about it as Bitcoiners. And there are at least two sides to the coin. Worth discussing.

I just think we haven't really talked about it as Bitcoiners.

I appreciate your gratitude, but would have preferred your attention to the point being made more. No, there isn't a set of homogenous opinions in the even larger identity group of "most humans." Noone expects there would be. The delusion is thinking there is an homogenous "Bitcoin community," that shares a wide set of views. We don't.

"as Bitcoiners," and how, pray, is that? Who are the Bitcoiners, and when they disagree, who are the true Bitcoiners? And who decides?

He is a dictator. That's pretty much it. He has made deals with gangs, and this is all about AML KYC work arounds. No good using tradfi for sending too much dirty money, but with BTC legal tender, they can on and off ramp all they want.

197 sats \ 11 replies \ @iguano 5 Jul

He is a dictator if you look at him from the free world perspective. But in Latin American standards, he is a wonderful president,. and I'm pretty sure that he is one of the best in LATAM (not because of bitcoin but in all other metrics). In latin America we prefer a good dictator than another thief democratic guy. the corruption is so huge, that the metrics the people use to measure the quality of a government is different.

Venezuelan here.

I think that it's good for him to stand up to IMF and all the rest. I think that he can attract business and development to the region and it has a real chance of helping common people. It is also insanely risky, but they don't have much to lose anyway, so I hope we can all help in our small ways just through spreading adoption of BTC!

From the free world perspective, what makes him a dictator?

maybe joining with the army to the congres?

or changing the law to change few supreme court judges?

I guess it depends of the "free world country" but those two are kind of important.

I'm not familiar with either of the 2 examples you've mentioned. If you can source references to them I'm open to learning more.

"Surrounded by soldiers, with six El Salvador flags behind him and in front of some five thousand supporters from different parts of the country, he called the deputies "scoundrels" and "criminals", affirming that they were committing an illegality by not attending that day. to Congress and reminded his followers of an article of the Constitution, 87: "The people have the right to insurrection to remove those officials and restore constitutional order," he said."

It sounds like there are two sides to this story. If you believe in a republican system, then all branches of government must play their role. If one intentionally decides to neglect their role, whether because they are corrupt or are playing political games, then it's justified to use force on them to fulfill their lawful duties. Otherwise they are "above the law". I'm not saying I fully understand the situation enough to make that declaration, but it must be taken into account whom is acting unconstitutionally.

21 sats \ 1 replies \ @iguano 6 Jul

dude, I like the guy, I'm just telling you why he can be considered as dictator.

you don't see in any free country the military taking the congress. it doesn't matter who is right. it does not happen.

Whether it happens or not is not an indicator of whether or not its dictatorial. It could very well be the responsibility of the executive to enforce the duties held by the legislative, just as the judicial must with its power. GWB used the judicial branch to supercede the will of the voters in 2000. Does that make him a dictator, or not because he didn't use the army?

Term limits and other laws were ignored I'm pretty sure. BTC law passed in the Senate, so you can say it was democratic, but how many average Salvadorans could tell you what Bitcoin is to have an informed position? I know here in the west most still don't get it.

Being above the law and the institutions make him a dictator.

What if other branches of government act above the law? Is it justified for a branch of government to step in and force them to do their job?

That's a bold claim. What justifies him being a dictator? I'd also request that you look up the definition of dictator so as not to waste anyone's time.

No need. If you support someone who breaks or changes laws, they are a King. If you disagree, they are a dictator. You can easily look up all the specific legalities of what has taken place and decide yourself.

I realize that making BTC a national currency was done outside of the legislative or judicial process, but in practice, the only the thing that changes for citizens is that they will not have to report transactions with bitcoin. So this is a net gain in freedom and loss of restriction. No one is being forced to accept bitcoin, use it, or hold it. If there's something I'm missing I would love to know.

I think it's awesome. I was just commenting on how Bukele operates.

In principle I would consider any branch of government that "breaks the law" so to say in order to provide additional freedom is not dictatorial. For example, if the American federal government outlaws narcotics, and a state "breaks the law" by not prosecuting people that sell and use narcotics, I would say the state is acting in the opposite manner as a dictator. Similarly, Bukele making the executive declaration that he will not prosecute people that use Bitcoin properly as money is the opposite of dictatorial.

Were we or anyone in the world talking about El Salvador before this? What type of outside capital investment (critical) was there before Bukele's bitcoin gambit? What were the tourism numbers? What was the hope like? How can business work at large when gangs run the show?

They started this 9 months ago...won't this take years before we can see if it's even working? Because so far it certainly looks like it's working. The MS13 gang et al have been gutted. It's given a playbook for other latin states of what NOT to do, and what works. Bukele isn't perfect, I'm just not sure what exactly El Salvador's options were besides the recycling disaster of IMF debt and eventually unserviceable Chinese loans. How about we give it a chance?

yes. everyone preaches as tho he is some great guy.

i mean shit, he refers to himself as a dictator. he brought in soldiers to help get a bill passed in their congress/house.

look at the end of the day, one should not conflate his bitcoin friendlyness with being a good leader.

these two things are not the same.

yes the bitcoin play has brought more tourism to his country and upped his GDP.

i personally am not a fan of his.

and yeah he may have been joking when he said 'im the coolest dictator' but his actions have led credence to him being a dictator.

but i am just an outsider looking in with my own biases.

All the ordinary people I queried in ES had mostly good things to say about the guys. This country used to have the highest murder rate in the world before Bukele, don't forget.

All the "humanitarian experts" in the west consider him evil. Forgive my skepticism.

It is true, of course, that there is a substantial anti-Bukele political faction. I'm sure it's not simple.

It could be very thinly stretched classical fractional banking. How can we as Bitcoiners just ignore that?

I don't mean to be rude, but what the fuck are you talking about? Which "bitcoiners" are ignoring that Chivo started out as a complete fuck up and to this day is mostly a government USD app, that happens to have bitcoin features? I feel like I've seen way more bitcoiners be critical of Bukele + Chivo and basically nobody uncritically support it. But it is the first country that practically uses Bitcoin with the blessing of the government, for all the limitations and flaws. So it's at least interesting, because of that.

It could be even worse turning a whole country in a Ponzi Sheme and the Bitcoin just a pr-stunt. The actual way to do this would be in the Bitcoin spirit with KYC Bitcoin ATMs - whicht might even have been the easier infrastructure to set up.

There are Chivo ATMs for changing USD<->BTC both ways, and actually they work kind of well in my experience (they also have basically no fees). I'm not sure why you said KYC (you think it should be KYC? because that's how you wrote it). Anyway, it only has KYC in as much as you need to use a phone number (and it doesn't have to be an ES phone).

Most of what you're saying seems confused.

35 sats \ 0 replies \ @iguano 5 Jul

Is normal that any government will try to control and centralize the bitcoin adoption. That is why the Chivo wallet is "accepted" but no bitcoin regular user will use it EVER.

The important thing happening in El Salvador is that we have the first government officially allowing people the access to sound money in more than 100 years.

56 sats \ 2 replies \ @om 5 Jul

The Chivo App is basically a banking app by the government.

But you don't have to use it. Any lightning wallet should work.

They don't "have to" use the Chivo app. But people loose out on free money.

That's exactly the point of central banking - technically everyone is free to participate - but it is impossible to isolate yourself from the economy around you!

It's actually the exact same thing as the stimulus checks in the USA. Nobody forced the people to accept the stimulus checks free money. But who says no to free money? And the consequences of increased money supply and inflation are inevitable - whether you participated or not.

0 sats \ 0 replies \ @om 6 Jul

Okay, but you can use Chivo to get free $30 and then use whatever wallet you like.

technically everyone is free to participate

There are those pesky legal tender laws though.

He might be wasting a lot of taxpayer dollars, but personally I'd rather see it not spent on war.

10 sats \ 3 replies \ @kobie 6 Jul

To everyone calling him a dictator, keep in mind that very powerful forces do not want him to succeed in transforming the country. Your western media outlets that shape your opinion move in lock-step with these powerful forces.

I would also recommend watching this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jxvpoRgv8g&t=2714s

Well, even Bukele himself had in his Twitter bio: "World's coolest dictator."

But I'ld agree he is not liked by the leftist news media publishers -- something solidified in their minds after Bukele has told the Fed chair Jerome Powell to "stop printing" and SV being among the first countries to abandon the vaccine mandates, vaccine passports, and other COVID nonsense.

keep in mind that very powerful forces do not want him to succeed in transforming the country.

Sheeple-motive. Conspiracy theory. Bullshit.

0 sats \ 0 replies \ @nice 6 Jul

I don't think you need to go to "conspiracy theory" realm to think that this is highly plausible. There are surely people and institutions around the world that will want El Salvador's bitcoin experiment to fail.

I don't know any other aspect of this president or the country to be honest, but you can use any lightning wallet you want, you don't have to use Chivo Wallet.

And Bitcoin being legal tender means the people in El Salvador don't have to pay capital gains when they sell Bitcoin. Similar to how gold coins in the UK work.

Seems pretty good to me.

They don't "have to" use the Chivo app. But people loose out on free money.

That's exactly the point of central banking - technically everyone is free to participate - but it is impossible to isolate yourself from the economy around you!

There id no proof that the dollars in the app are actually backed by dollars.

Correct. Just like with a bank, or with a custodial exchange, what you are seeing in the app is a ledger entry of an IOU from a custodian.

The dollars can be withdrawn from a Chivo ATM and that gives all (including the unbanked) a chance to not have to trust Chivo for more than a small period of time.

I can't say with certainty what the best approach is, but transparency with the funds would definitely not hurt.

So why are Bitcoiners supportive of this? We shouldn't be.

No one has to use the Chivo app. I'm not sure why this is even a topic of discussion. It would be like saying that the US dollar is a failure because of the mismanagement of the Venmo app.

If they give away free fake money in the Chivo app.

That would be like saying the Herbalife Ponzi Sheme wasn't a bad thing because nobody was had to use it.

There is no mandate that anyone actually use bitcoin. As legal tender, merchants are by law required to accept bitcoin for payment (given they have the technology to accommodate that ... which excludes everyone but the largest vendors), but they are not required to hold bitcoin, and conversion to fiat is not expensive.

I suspect your issue is more with Bukele than Chivo.

I speak for nobody but myself.

I SUPPORT MOVING OFF OF CENTRAL BANK MONEY AND INTO BITCOIN --- EVEN IF THERE ARE DICTATORS WHO ALSO ARE PUSHING FOR THAT

There id no proof that the dollars in the app are actually backed by dollars.

Correct. Just like with a bank, or with a custodial exchange, what you are seeing in the app is a ledger entry of an IOU from a custodian.

The dollars can be withdrawn from a Chivo ATM and that gives all (including the unbanked) a chance to not have to trust Chivo for more than a small period of time.

I can't say with certainty what the best approach is, but transparency with the funds would definitely not hurt.

все тестируют биткоин. каждый по разному. кто то отдаёт это в правительство. кто то доверяет мелкому бизнесу. кто то просто наблюдает. это часть развития. если в сальводоре развалить я все. то это будет результат тех или иных действий которые можно учитывать в будущем.

20 sats \ 2 replies \ @ember 5 Jul

What happened to the volcano bonds? Where they every issued? Last I heard there were delays but haven't a seen a word about it ever since.

Lack of interest at the time. Half the funds raised for the bonds would be locked into bitcoin, and with bitcoin falling in price, and, if I remember correctly, a chunk of the funds would also go into developing the geothermal plant and mining bitcoin. We've seen public bitcoin mining operators lose 90% from their ATHs, so it's not a surprise that the bonds conceived of almost a year ago no longer have sufficient interest from investors.

I wouldn't count it out though. Geothermal is a great renewable energy source for generating power, and it is a great match for bitcoin mining since it provides a constant supply 24/7. So if bitcoin mining will help subsidize the plant (by increasing its revenue potential), it becomes a viable economic endeavor (whereas without bitcoin mining it might not get built simply because there wouldn't otherwise be sufficient demand for the generation capacity on day one when production begins).

Here's a post on SN with an article critcal about Bukele:

El Salvador’s Embrace of Bitcoin Didn’t Bring Prosperity — It Rode in With... https://stacker.news/items/48879 https://theintercept.com/2022/07/22/bitcoin-crypto-el-salvador-nayib-bukele https://archive.ph/AMsKN <-- An archive, with no paywall, no subscription requirement, and can be easier to read

I am skeptical as well. Masks+covid mandates 🚩 🚩 🚩

Nah, that was good. Pragmatism.

Not to mention the "bitcoin city" powered by a volcano! We haven't seen that kind of nonsense since the times of bitconneeect. The way to go with bitcoin was to let people use it freely, that is by NOT making regulations. But forcing it on people with laws is precisely what this is not about. Something as simple as making it tax free, or promoting companies to register there, whatever, but making it legal tender wasn't necessary. And what OP mentions on the wallet really stinks, most people on the ground confirms the problems and complain.

His hope for the better future with #bitcoin will not perish. He's a good leader ☺️

Also see this post: https://stacker.news/items/41541 by @DayCentralPerk

... which I have not found confirmation sources for besides Twitter yet. But even if it is not true - it is technologically possible and just a question of time imo.