The political economy of cryptocurrency adoption in El Salvador.

Joshua Rose, Faculty of Arts

In 2021 the President of El Salvador Nayib Bukele and his administration made Bitcoin legal tender, a world first, enabling citizens to pay taxes in Bitcoin and exchange it with the other Salvadoran currency, the US Dollar, at no immediate cost. Preceding the decision, an American development organisation founded ‘Bitcoin Beach’ and began distributing Bitcoin stipends to unbanked citizens in rural, economically disenfranchised El Zonte. This project seeks to articulate the ontologies of value constructed by El Zonte residents enmeshed in the project and explore the processes through which the evolving, state-controlled currency system refracts these ontologies.