El Salvador’s ambassador to the US announced plans to open a "Bitcoin Embassy" in Houston, Texas, where citizens and business owners can learn more about the country's flagship cryptocurrency.
The embassy will reportedly have an educational focus, providing information on how to use and invest in Bitcoin, but the real purpose of the space is to help Salvadorans living in Texas send money back home using Bitcoin.
In 2019, immigrant workers in America sent over $550B in remittances to their families back home. It's no secret that El Salvador is struggling to get its citizens to adopt Bitcoin. I think if Salvadorans’ remittances from their America-based family are denominated in Bitcoin, we'll see a nice increase in Bitcoin adoption among Salvadorans.
While the embassy's focus on education is a positive step toward improving public understanding, it remains to be seen whether this will translate to wider adoption of Bitcoin in El Salvador or even among Salvadorans in Texas. In America, there seems to be massive Bitcoin adoption among people who don’t know anything about crypto, so maybe education isn’t what drives adoption.
The decision to open the embassy in Texas is an interesting choice, as the state has become a hub for the cryptocurrency industry in the US and home to a large Latin American population. We'll see how effective these efforts will be in encouraging Salvadorans to use Bitcoin, but I think facilitating remittances has to be one of the best ways to drive adoption. If you thought gas fees were high, try sending money to another country using Western Union.