El Salvador Could Rake in $1B Bitcoin Investment Per Year With New 'Freedom VISA'

The country's treasury owns just over 2,700 bitcoin (BTC), which has yielded over $3 million in unrealized profit so far.

AccessTimeIconDec 8, 2023 at 8:46 a.m. UTC
Updated Jan 26, 2024 at 3:57 p.m. UTC
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El Salvador is targeting bitcoin (BTC) and crypto millionaires in its latest push to attract long-term residents to the country.

The nation kickstarted its "Freedom VISA" program on Thursday, doling out residency to a maximum of 1,000 people per year who invest at least $1 million worth of bitcoin or tether (USDT) stablecoins.

Eligible participants receive a long-term residency permit and have a path to full citizenship. An application costs a non-refundable $999 in BTC or USDT, and the process has gone live as of Friday.

The technical process is handled by Tether Global, the issuer of USDT.

This is similar to the concept of a "Golden VISA" offered by several nations, where wealthy people can invest a certain amount into that country's bonds or property in return for a residency permit.

Taking bitcoin or tether investments for residency is a first for any nation. El Salvador could receive at least $1 billion in deposits if the quora are filled every year.

El Salvador created history in September 2021 after becoming the first nation to recognize bitcoin as legal tender. It has since made bitcoin investments and holds over 2,700 BTC in its treasury – a position that has yielded over $3 million in unrealized profit so far.

These steps are part of a broader plan to reduce El Salvador's reliance on U.S. dollars and combat hyperinflation by attracting newer income sources, President Nayib Bukele has said over the years.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.

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Shaurya Malwa

Shaurya is the Deputy Managing Editor for the Data & Tokens team, focusing on decentralized finance, markets, on-chain data, and governance across all major and minor blockchains.


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