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In El Salvador's bitcoin beach town, digital divide slows uptake
15-06-2021, 07:34 AM
Příspěvek: #1
In El Salvador's bitcoin beach town, digital divide slows uptake
[Obrázky: edffbbd96c086c235eeaf63e6d6a47f6]

The El Salvadoran beach town of El Zonte is visibly poor, with dirt roads and a faulty drainage system. But in one way, it's ahead of the rest of the country: It has bitcoin.

The tropical surfing spot's basic infrastructure offers a glimpse of the potential pitfalls to popularizing bitcoin nationally for payments and savings, after Congress last Wednesday adopted the cryptocurrency as legal tender, a world first.

Take Zulma Rivas. The 38-year-old mother of three started accepting bitcoin payments last year for the bags of cut fruit she sells from a tray to tourists, part of an experiment called Bitcoin Beach aimed at making the town one of the world's first bitcoin economies.
President Nayib Bukele cited Bitcoin Beach as inspiration for his push to adopt the cryptocurrency nationally. The town's use of a platform called Lightning Network to enable smaller transactions has helped overcome some of the technical and practical obstacles to using bitcoin as a currency, Bitcoin Beach's founders say, which could be useful on a larger scale.But for Rivas, cash is king. She rarely uses bitcoin, she says, because like many in the town, her battered smartphone struggles with the payments app. When Reuters visited last week, the device was broken. Anyway, she often runs out of data on her prepaid contract.
Then there is the internet connection, notoriously patchy in rural places like El Zonte, which is 49 km (30 mi) southwest of San Salvador, the capital.

A 2020 study by Microsoft and the Interamerican Development Bank concluded that El Salvador had the second lowest internet penetration of 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. At 45%, connectivity was only lower in neighboring Honduras. In rural areas barely one in 10 people have internet access.

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05-09-2021, 11:57 AM
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RE: In El Salvador's bitcoin beach town, digital divide slows uptake
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