Think Forward.

World Politics

El Salvador: The most important country you barely hear about

El Salvador has a significant diaspora, so much that money coming from the US is a major source of income. **Not so long ago you would have been pressed to find a Salvadorian who wanted to go back to El Salvador. Now things seems to be changing.** El Salavador, used to have one of the highest homicide rates in the Americas, now it looks relatively safe. El Salvador showed an interesting strategy. First boost the economy before handling the crime situation. Crime is indeed a part of GDP, albeit a hard one to quantify. Since it is an economic activity, it participates in exchanges and provides people with activities that supports them and their families. Drastically reducing crime has the effect of creating *'unemployed criminals'* people with a skillset that's hard to sell in a traditional economy. El Salvador probably did take a hit to its GDP, but that was compensated by the increase in economic activity and investments. Bitcoin was a big part of that. Bitcoin got a lot of bad press as a technology only used by criminals, or a crazy investment for crazy speculators. These takes failed to understand the technology and it's potential. What Bitcoin offers is a decentralized, fast and secure payment system for free. El Salvador doesn't have to maintain it, regulate it, or even monitor it. All very costly activities that a small country can do without. Bitcoin is a mathematically secure way of payment. In a country where road infrastructures are challenging, Bitcoin offers people in remote areas the possibility to pay their bills without travelling for hours. In a country that was unsafe, Bitcoin offered people the possibility to go out without the fear of being robbed. It also attracted a kind of investors that would go nowhere else. And even if these investment can appear small, for a country like El Salvador it's a big change. The Salvadorian experiment in a freer economy, crypto-friendly and smaller government, in a time of increasing inflation, has a lot of people watching. In a continent that leaned left for so long, this is a big change. My opinion is that there would be no Javier Millier hadn't there been a Nayib Bukele before. Argentina has been a bastion of the left for decades. If the libertarian policies of Millier succeed in bettering the lives of Argentinians, we might be on the brink of a major cultural shift in the Americas and then the world. Argentina is a far bigger country than El Salvador, with far more people watching.