El Salvador has doubled down on its push for Bitcoin adoption in recent days, courting crypto firms and playing host to crypto-curious nations.

Here’s everything the Bitcoin-friendly nation has been up to recently, as it seeks to buff its credentials as a Bitcoin pioneer.

Jack Dorsey-backed Bitcoin mining pool sets up shop

Ocean, a Bitcoin mining pool backed by Block founder Jack Dorsey, has launched a “global hub” in El Salvador. Per a press release, the firm’s newly formed Ocean Mining S.A. de C.V. entity will be headquartered in the nation's capital, San Salvador.


The firm claimed that its new hub will help it to continue the decentralization of Bitcoin mining across the globe, with its co-founder and CTO, Bitcoin Core developer Luke Dashjr, adding that the country is “on the leading edge of Bitcoin and Bitcoin mining adoption.”

The firm’s president, Mark Artymko, added that the country's political stance on Bitcoin stood in “stark contrast” to countries that had legislated to ban Bitcoin mining, including Venezuela and the EU.

ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood meets with President

This week also saw ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood travel to El Salvador to meet with the country’s pro-Bitcoin president, Nayib Bukele. Wood and economist Art Laffer discussed Bukele’s plans to use Bitcoin and AI to “turbocharge his economic and education reforms,” she said in a tweet following their meeting.

She added that Bukele’s “determination to turn El Salvador into an oasis for the bitcoin and AI communities,” could help to scale the country’s GDP tenfold from its current level of around $30 billion.


Argentina to “explore” Bitcoin collaboration with El Salvador

Officials from Argentina’s National Securities Commission (CNV) this week met with El Salvador’s National Digital Assets Commission (CNAD) to discuss the country’s experience using Bitcoin as legal tender.

“El Salvador has established itself as a global leader not only in the use of Bitcoin but also in the broader realm of digital assets,” Roberto E. Silva, president of Argentina’s CNV, said in a blog post. He added that the country aims to “strengthen our ties” with El Salvador and is exploring “potential collaboration arrangements.”

El Salvador and Bitcoin

The Central American nation made headlines in 2021 when it became the first country in the world to make Bitcoin legal tender.

The country’s president, Nayib Bukele, embarked on a Bitcoin buying spree, with the country revealing earlier this week that its holdings now amounted to nearly $400 million at current prices.

El Salvador’s embrace of Bitcoin brought an influx of crypto tourists to the nation, with the country offering a “freedom visa” to wealthy foreigners who invested $1 million in Bitcoin or Tether into its coffers. Among locals, adoption of the cryptocurrency has been less enthusiastic, with only 1% of remittances from citizens living outside the country made in crypto during 2023.

The country's has also faced criticism for its enthusiastic adoption of Bitcoin, with the likes of the World Bank and the IMF warning that it threatens the country’s financial stability. Last year, several U.S. Senators questioned whether El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin posed a threat to the United States, arguing that it threatened the country's capacity to “effectively combat money laundering and illicit finances.”

Edited by Stacy Elliott.

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