Crypto millionaires have been queuing to visit El Salvador, the only country that has made Bitcoin (BTC) legal tender thus far. While El Salvador allows its citizens to use BTC for everyday purchases, this is not the main attraction behind the growing number of tourists to the central American territory.
The crypto tourists seek to weigh the potential of investing in Bitcoin City. President Nayib Bukele announced plans to build the city in November 2021. At the time, he said the country would issue BTC bonds to finance the development of the city, which will sit at the base of the Conchagua stratovolcano.
His plans for the city involve tapping geothermal energy from the stratovolcanic mountain and using it to mine BTC. Notably, BTC will be the city’s currency, and residents will only have to pay taxes for goods and services. The government shared a rendering of the city, which will be a circular urban area with a B-shaped central plaza.
With such ambitious plans and promises, it is no wonder that crypto proponents are making their way to El Salvador. If built, Bitcoin City would qualify as the perfect utopia for crypto adopters, who are big on creating crypto-friendly jurisdictions with flexible regulation, little government oversight, and minimal taxes.
Investors are offering hefty amounts of money for land around Conchagua
Among the crypto enthusiasts looking to participate in developing the city is Bitcoin Foundation Chairman Brock Pierce. Reportedly, Bitcoin Foundation representatives have already met with prominent Salvadoran leaders.
While Bitcoin Foundation is dealing with the Salvadoran government, wealthy investors from Europe and El Salvador have already started making offers to locals in areas surrounding Conchagua.
For instance, Luis Diaz, the owner of a resort named El Espíritu de la Montaña (The Mountain Spirit), claims he has received offers that are three to five times more than the amount he paid for the land the resort occupies. However, he remains adamant that he will not sell the piece of land because El Espíritu de la Montaña is a life project for him.
However, he and his neighbors are worried that the government might force them to vacate their homes, seeing as the state passed a law that gives the government the power to seize land for public use.
Although some Salvadorans believe Bukele’s BTC push might create more opportunities and help alleviate their problems, thousands of citizens are unsatisfied with his strong-handed approach toward the matter.
To show their discontent, Salvadorans often bash Bukele’s BTC announcements, with this criticism resulting in protests on several occasions.