On National Adoption of Bitcoin

What can El Salvador’s new law tell us about the future?

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El Salvador’s decision to make bitcoin legal tender shocked the world. Earlier this week, the rapidly developed and adopted bitcoin law went live, kicking off what seems primed to be an era of accelerated change unlike anything seen in our lifetimes.

Join hosts Adam B. Levine, Andreas M. Antonopoulos and Stephanie Murphy for a quick three-part discussion on the launch challenges, implications and listener comments from our previous show on the topic.

First, the launch: It was messy, but it happened. Alex Gladstein had an insightful Twitter thread in the days leading up to it. Matt Ahlborg dug into the day 1 government issued wallet and found a mixed bag. He found extra controls on the money given out at launch but a fairly robust technological package, including native SegWit support and a functional lightning network integration

Second, the implications: This path toward adoption was not what we expected. What El Salvador’s move to use bitcoin directly suggests is that dollarized nations or those that use another country’s currency become subject to their monetary policy decisions, and so they may prefer bitcoin’s non-monetary policy to either domestic or imported control. That’s in sharp contrast to nations like India, China and the U.S. that use their currencies and controls over it to accomplish policy goals. These powerful players see central bank digital currencies as a way to supercharge their monetary policy compared with their influence today over physical banknotes.

And finally, the local perspective: We had two listeners write in with corrections to our prior episode (We were incorrect about the reason why El Salvador “dollarized” its economy in 2000; it was billed as a move to lower the cost of borrowing, not because of elevated inflation) along with the many concerns and questions which are still unanswered. You’ll find both listeners comments in full linked below.

Links from the episode:

Have any questions or comments? Send us an email at adam@speakingofbitcoin.show

Today’s show featured Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Stephanie Murphy and Adam B. Levine. This episode was edited by Jonas, with music by Jared Rubens and Gurty Beats. Our album art is based off a photo by Photo by Wilson Edilberto Santana Suarez on Unsplash, modified by Speaking of Bitcoin