Trading above $60,000 at the time of this writing, bitcoin is arguably the most valued national currency. A national currency appreciating in value over time is a very rare phenomenon, and the citizens of El Salvador must be hyped to be part of history. Well, I’m hyped too. The popular orientation of bitcoin as a store value might as well be the most valid statement on the internet…lol.
With 700 bitcoins bought at an average of about $47,000; El Salvador’s treasury is currently a couple of millions up, and everyone who didn’t cash in on that $30 airdrop immediately should be worth a few more dollars too.
Bitcoin as ‘money’ is exciting; money in the general sense, accepted by a nation, recognized by the banks, and held by the government. Every other cryptocurrency is money, but in the real sense, only bitcoin has made its way to the fiat level of money.
Having your national currency built on a whole new type of technology comes with a different feeling. Nayib and his people can explain this feeling better than anyone else. From an onlooker’s angle, how will it feel to use bitcoin as a legal tender in your country?
Imagine squeezing a hundred notes of your fiat currency into your pocket, wallet, purse, or simply holding them in your palms. You probably remember the last time you had this experience; Cool? I guess not! Fiat, regardless of which country’s is bulky, carrying paper’s about used to be fun…but not when they have a special intrinsic value and are of constant use. The well-furnished leather purses and wallets are unable to make Fiat papers attractive, the burden of having to carry them about still exists.
Now, if you’re not running a full bitcoin node, a 50MB mobile wallet is all you need to fit in a million-dollar worth of bitcoin into your pocket. That sounds a bit heavy! But consider it as heavy as other applications on your device, only that it holds a million dollars worth of a spendable legal tender. Bitcoin’s flexibility is its first flex. Way before every other advantage, the fact that you can easily move around with your store of value without anyone’s knowledge is bitcoin’s first and huge impression.
With Chivo wallet installed, Salvadorians are equipped with the most convenient financial management application.
If you are walking through the streets with a big stash of fiat in your purse, then you’re either coming from making a withdrawal or heading over to make a deposit. Depending on which day of the week it is, the banking halls and the ATM stand are probably filled with people with similar goals as yourself. Waiting in a long queue is certainly easier on a ‘free’ day. Going through these protocols to use a ‘swift’ banking service is a turnoff and a step to be taken as an ‘only option.’
Bitcoin fixes this! And the fact is, you don’t really need an institutionalized establishment to perform these basic activities! Sending and receiving bitcoin funds is as easy as sending a text message. A recipient’s address and the message details.
Well, you’d argue that bitcoin falls through here too; relative to visa’s claimed 1,700 transaction speed per second, bitcoin blockchain processes only about five transactions per second… but that’s when you ignore the lightning! Bitcoin as money, and lighting technology in use; waiting in a queue is a matter of choice.
Lightning technology scales the bitcoin blockchain, increasing transaction speed by multiple times the original. The lightning network leverages bitcoin blockchain’s second layer to verify transactions at breathtaking speed and confirms them on-chain a bit later. This technology works efficiently and have been endorsed by users.
If you live in a country like El Salvador, where many citizens live off funds sent from abroad, you’ll easily grasp the rigorous process involved in sending or redeeming these funds. But that’s the least you’ll have to worry about anyways. These transactions cost a fee…of course! If you’re using western union transfer services, then you might as well get used to shedding a tangible percentage of the funds you just received. That’s where bitcoin comes in…
Sending bitcoin to anyone around the world would cost a couple of dollars if you ignore the lightning network. But you’ll only have to pay pennies to make these transactions if you’re going with the lightning. It’s not only cheaper; it’s a lot faster!
If it’s exciting, then you certainly have a lot to say about it, this is the case here and there’s a WHOLE lot to say about bitcoin as money. Stay tuned for the next part of this series!
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