Bitcoin-friendly El Salvador can become the ‘Singapore of the Americas’: VanEck advisor

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El Salvador can follow Singapore’s lead and become a financial center in the Americas, says VanEck strategy advisor Gabor Gurbacs.

“I say often to portfolio managers and asset allocators that El Salvador has the potential to become the Singapore of the Americas,” Gurbacs explained on Oct. 28.

Similar to what Singapore achieved in the 1990s, Gurbacs expects new capital investment and immigration will push El Salvador’s economic growth in the years to come.

His comments follow an Oct. 28 post by United States broadcaster and Bitcoiner Max Keiser, which was captioned “Move to #ElSalvador, The New Land of the Free.”

Keiser, who now lives in El Salvador, listed Bitcoin (BTC) and the U.S. dollar’s legal tender status, a clean up in El Salvadoran crime, great beaches and great coffee as some of the main reasons why the Central American country should be on everyone’s radar.

El Salvador’s status as an emerging economy became more prominent when Nayib Bukele was appointed as the country’s president in June 2019.

El Salvador’s sovereign bonds have outperformed many other emerging markets in 2023, yielding an eye-popping 70% return by August 2023 which caught the attention of JPMorgan, Eaton Vance and other investment management firms.

Bukele and the El Salvador government made Bitcoin legal tender in September 2021 in addition to rolling out a Bitcoin custodial wallet, Chivo Wallet for all El Salvadorans in the same week.

El Salvador is also tapping into its volcanic resources to power a Bitcoin mining operation startup, Volcano Energy, which launched in June on the back of a $1 billion investment. Keiser serves as the company’s executive chairman.

Its first mining pool was launched following a partnership with Bitcoin miners Luxor Technology in October.

Related: El Salvador’s Bitcoin strategy evolved with the bear market in 2022

El Salvador appointed Dr. Saifedean Ammous, the author of “The Bitcoin Standard” as an economic advisor to the National Bitcoin Office in May. The country plans to accumulate Bitcoin as a strategy to clean out its debt within the next five years.

Bukele also made a bold move to eliminate all taxes on technology innovations in April — which could entice more entrepreneurs and foreign capital to move into the country.

Magazine: What it’s actually like to use Bitcoin in El Salvador