El Salvador’s ‘Bitcoin Week’ attracts a community of faithful

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(Bloomberg) – The bitcoin community arrived this week in El Salvador, the world’s first country to convert cryptocurrency to legal tender, doubling down on its wildly bullish outlook on digital currency while ignoring its recent decline from all-time highs.

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They went to El Salvador to participate in “bitcoin week,” a series of events with two main conferences and impromptu parties and gatherings that gave industry experts and crypto-believers the opportunity to celebrate their allegiance to the digital token they perceive as something revolutionary.

Wearing patterned hats and T-shirts, fans who flocked to the Latin American nation said they are not worried about the recent price changes and that they will stick for the long term.

The centerpiece of the week was the annual Latin American Bitcoin and Blockchain Conference, a three-day event that concluded on Friday.

On Wednesday night, hundreds of Bitcoin advocates jumped to the beat of Latin rap music in front of a live music stage outside the event, while denouncing the US dollar and warning of pending hyperinflation.

José Schierano, a 51-year-old owner of an ice cream delivery business, said he found the dollar archaic.

Schierano said he traveled from Córdoba, Argentina, to hear the panelists speak at LaBitConf. He also attended a separate conference in Miami earlier this year where El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele announced that bitcoin would become legal tender. The Argentine peso has fallen 16% this year against the US dollar, and strict foreign currency controls in his country mean that Schierano can only withdraw US $ 200 in US currency per month. He told us that bitcoin was the way to avoid such a situation, and it is also seen in other countries, such as Venezuela or Turkey, countries where central banks do not have credible policies.

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Companies, from bitcoin ATM providers to cryptocurrency exchanges, set up stands around the Presidente Theater in the capital of El Salvador. Some attendees planned trips to El Zonte, a coastal town an hour away where bitcoin first took off in El Salvador.

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