- The event did not have the same relevance as last year. Even the president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, was very restrained in commenting on it.
- At the El Salvador Bitcoin Summit, Bitfinex CTO Paolo Arduino intervened, promising to help the government create a regulatory framework for digital assets.
The long-awaited annual Bitcoin Conference in El Salvador was overshadowed this year by the deep crisis suffered by the cryptocurrency industry and the absence of great personalities linked to the sector.
The event began on Tuesday in the capital, San Salvador. It ended on Thursday, November 17, amid great uncertainty about the future of Bitcoin and other digital assets and a lukewarm atmosphere with many empty chairs.
“Adopting Bitcoin: A Lightning Summit in El Salvador” did not have the splendor and enthusiasm of last year when the small Central American country became the first nation to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender.
"The fact that prices are low, that there are problems elsewhere (...) causes an uncertain environment," Juan Fonseca, a Guatemalan citizen who participated in the conference, told Reuters.
The Fall of the Cryptocurrencies
The price of Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies fell this year mainly due to the increase in the cost of money as a result of the Federal Reserve’s policy of sharply increasing interest rates to try to contain growing inflation in the United States.
Then a series of events, such as the bankruptcies of companies linked to cryptocurrency trading and the collapse of coins like Terra USD, did the rest. Large investors got rid of these high-risk assets, causing their prices to drop sharply.
In the same way that the price of Bitcoin skyrocketed between 2017 and 2021, going from $1,000 to $68,000, it plummeted this year. The world’s leading digital currency has lost close to three-quarters of its value and is trading at $17,700.
Then came the surprising collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX crypto exchange, which ended up undermining the little confidence of large institutional investors in Bitcoin and other risky assets. This sustained drop in prices influenced the mood of potential event attendees.
Bitfinex Support to El Salvador
One of the most notorious participants in the El Salvador crypto conference was Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Bitfinex. During his speech at the event, Arduino said that his firm “will redouble its efforts to build a free, unstoppable, resilient and open bitcoin and technology infrastructure for El Salvador.”
The company has promised to collaborate with the indebted government of El Salvador, led by President Nayib Bukele, to develop an adequate regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency market and other digital assets in the country.
After thanking Bukele for his warm welcome, Ardoino predicted that “El Salvador will become the financial and tech center of Central America.” He added that “noise won’t distract the builders” from this goal.
For his part, Bukele, who tooth and nail defends his monetary policy based almost exclusively on Bitcoin trade and accumulation, announced on Twitter the purchase of a daily Bitcoin starting this week.
On the Flipside
- Bukele and other BTC enthusiasts are confident that the cryptocurrency will recover in the near future and that the losses accumulated so far will be compensated.
- So far, the Salvadoran government has acquired 2,381 bitcoins with an outlay of $107 million, according to unofficial estimates.
Why You Should Care
The truth is that some analysts believe Bukele is going to lose the bet on Bitcoin and there is no indication that the crypto market will recover soon. With few triumphs to display in the financial field, the president affirms that his country now has less corruption and fewer migrants traveling to the United States.
If you would like to know more about El Salvador’s Bitcoin purchases and the latest government statements on the collapse of FTX, check out these articles: