Economist suggests El Salvador’s Bitcoin should be used to help the poor

Professor Rafael Lemus urges President Nayib Bukele to use his “failed” cryptocurrency investment to prevent poor households from moving into extreme poverty

El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele made Bitcoin legal tender in the country back in 2021 and has since made a significant investment in the cryptocurrency. However, UCA El Salvador University professor Rafael Lemus has suggested that the investment has failed to produce any benefit for the country.

Lemus has called on the president to undo his investment, recover what he can, and allocate the funds to help the poorest households in the country. This, according to Lemus, would prevent these households from falling into extreme poverty due to inflation.

El Salvador is one of the poorest nations in the Americas and previously suffered from high levels of gang violence, but the murder rate has dropped considerably under Bukele’s leadership. Despite Bukele’s popularity in the country and Latin America as a whole, his Bitcoin bet has been criticized by organizations like the World Bank and IMF.

According to the Nayib Tracker website, the president has spent over $113 million on Bitcoin but is currently down 34% on the investment. While El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law requires businesses in the country to accept the cryptocurrency and encourages citizens to use it, not many merchants have shown interest in the asset.

If Bukele were to heed Lemus’ advice and use his Bitcoin investment to help the poor, it could make a significant impact on the country’s poverty rate. While the cryptocurrency investment may not have paid off, such a move would provide hope for a brighter future for El Salvador’s poorest households.

By Evey Lovelace

You May Also Like