The Bitcoin community descended this week on El Salvador, the world’s first country to make the cryptocurrency legal tender, doubling down on their wildly bullish outlook on the digital coin while brushing off its recent descent from record highs.
They were in El Salvador as part of “Bitcoin Week,” a series of events anchored by two conferences and featuring a spate of parties and impromptu get-togethers that gave industry experts and crypto faithful alike a chance to celebrate their allegiance to the digital token they see as a global game-changer.
Wearing hats with Bitcoin’s symbol and T-shirts emblazoned with the crypto mantra “buy the f*cking dip,” adherents who flocked to the Latin American nation said they aren’t worried about recent price swings and are invested for the long haul.
The centerpiece of the week was the annual Latin America Bitcoin and Blockchain Conference, a three-day event wrapping up on Friday.
On Wednesday night, hundreds of Bitcoin proponents bounced to Latin rap music in front of a stage with live music outside the event, downing cans of Pilsener and Golden, the popular local beers, as they decried the U.S. dollar and warned of pending hyperinflation.
“The dollar seems archaic to me” said Jose Schierano, a 51-year-old owner of an ice cream delivery business sporting white shorts and a black shirt that said “Bitcoin Country” in reference to El Salvador.
Schierano said he traveled from Cordoba, Argentina, to hear panelists speak at LaBitConf. He also attended a separate conference in Miami earlier this year where El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele announced Bitcoin would become legal tender.
The Argentine peso has slid 16% this year against the U.S. dollar, and strict foreign currency controls back home mean Schierano can only withdraw $200 in American currency per month, he said. “Bitcoin is the way around that, and you see it in other countries too, like Venezuela or Turkey, countries where central banks don’t have credible policies. Critics call Bitcoin shitcoin, but the real shitcoins are all the other fiats.”
Companies from Bitcoin ATM providers to cryptocurrency exchanges set up stands around the Teatro Presidente in El Slavador’s capital city. Some attendees planned trips to El Zonte, a beach town an hour away where Bitcoin first took off in El Salvador. Source.