El Salvador is planning to open a “Bitcoin embassy” in Texas, according to the country’s ambassador to the U.S.
El Salvadoran ambassador Milena Mayorga said on Twitter yesterday that she had met with Texas Deputy Secretary of State Joe Esparza to discuss the idea.
The Texas Secretary of State confirmed to Decrypt that they met with El Salvador’s ambassador to the U.S. “to discuss opportunities for cultural and commercial exchange,” but would not elaborate.
El Salvador’s government did not immediately respond to Decrypt’s questions.
It is not clear exactly what the embassy will do other than educate the public on the world’s biggest cryptocurrency.
El Salvador last year opened a “Bitcoin office” in Lugano, Switzerland to spread adoption of the cryptocurrency in Europe. It also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on economic cooperation with the city.
The Swiss initiative is intended to support “initiatives to drive the adoption of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies across their respective regions” as well as “fostering the exchange of students and talents between El Salvador and Lugano,” the countries announced at the time.
El estado de Texas, nuestro nuevo aliado.
En mi encuentro con el Secretario Adjunto del Gobierno de Texas, Joe Esparza @TXsecofstate, abordamos la apertura de la segunda Embajada #Bitcoin y de ampliar los proyectos de intercambios comerciales y económicos. 🇺🇸🤝🇸🇻 pic.twitter.com/NcmOjeadl6
— Milena Mayorga (@MilenaMayorga) February 14, 2023
El Salvador became the first company to make Bitcoin legal tender—along with the U.S. dollar—in September 2021.
The tiny country’s president Nayib Bukele announced the idea at the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami in June. El Salvador’s law has since been criticized by the likes of the World Bank and the IMF, and so far,nd not many Salvadorans use the cryptocurrency for everyday purchases.
El Salvador has also bought the cryptocurrency, according to Twitter announcements from the president, but the administration has been opaque about revealing exact details.
Despite this, and despite criticism from human rights groups over his harsh crackdown on the nation’s notorious street gangs, President Nayib Bukele is popular with Salvadorans.