A small village in El Salvador has achieved something that still seems a long way off in the cities of Zurich, Amsterdam or San Francisco, which are traded as Bitcoin hotspots: Bitcoin is an established means of payment for people in El Zonte for purchases and services for everyday needs. For many experts, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are seen as saviors in need: for example, if there is concern that a crisis-ridden government could freeze bank accounts. Even in countries with hyperinflation, people are increasingly using Bitcoin and Co. to protect their money from the dramatic depreciation of their national currency. In the economically difficult times that we are experiencing through Corona worldwide, Bitcoin could become an interesting option.
A future for the youth – thanks to Bitcoin
In addition to this stroke of luck, Peterson developed possibilities from the start that should not only provide relief to the local people in need for a short time. Rather, it should be about fighting the roots of poverty. With the “Bitcoin Beach” project, a circular economy was to be created in El Zonte, which would enable residents to get out of crime and poverty. Here Petersen concentrates above all on picking up the young generation. The more incentives young people have to get involved in and identify with their community, the less likely they are to join criminal gangs. This is how young people in El Zonte can earn Bitcoin, for example for cleaning the area, as a lifeguard on the beach or for achieving good school grades. The Bitcoin Beach team also supports university students with a monthly grant of $ 50 – paid in Bitcoin, of course. Confidence in the Bitcoin payment system was already there, at least in parts of the population, before Corona changed everything.