Between palm fronds and beachfront shacks in El Zonte, a surf town of 3,000 people on El Salvador’s Pacific coastline, a cryptocurrency experiment begun by two Americans has triggered a national revolution.
On Tuesday El Salvador will become the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, with plans to use volcanic geothermal energy to power the “mining” of the digital currency.
Bitcoin will become the official currency of central America’s smallest country alongside the US dollar, which it adopted in 2001 and which will still be used as a “reference currency”.
The digital experiment is being watched closely around the world. Since 2019 it has already been in use in El Zonte, where two US digital currency pioneers, Michael Peterson