El Salvador, the country that historically became the first in the world to prescribe Bitcoin as legal tender, has made a plan to boost its tourism industry and subsequently its economy in good time. The National Bitcoin Office (ONBTC) of the Central American nation has announced a new initiative called the Freedom Visa. The development comes after a long silence from El Salvador, which is currently working on developing a tax-free, volcano-powered Bitcoin city.
The Freedom Visa is a donation-based citizenship program. Through this, El Salvador will grant a residency visa to those willing to donate a million dollars worth of Bitcoin or Tether to the national treasury. To do so, the Salvadoran government has partnered with stablecoin issues Tether, it said in an official announcement earlier this month.
Tether Powers El Salvador’s Visionary Freedom Visa Program Through Technology Support :flag-sv::vulcano:
Experience freedom, security and a #Bitcoin lifestyle by adopting El Salvador as your home through the Freedom Visa program.
For more information, please visit :arrow_down:https://t.co/QdF6XPDsO3
— Tether (@Tether_to) December 7, 2023
Every year the country will only give out one thousand slots, the government under president Nayib Bukele has decided. The country is looking to leverage its status as a pro-Bitcoin nation to promote its special citizenship visa plan to the masses.
“Based on the current level of interest, we expect the program to be sold out by the end of the year. If anything, it is actually underpriced. While there are many citizenship programs available in the world, there is only one Bitcoin country,” a CoinTelegraph report quoted as ONBTC says in an email conversation.
Reacting to the development, market analyst Alistair Milne called the Salvadoran initiative rather ‘uncompetitive’ compared to other similar initiatives. Milne is the chief investment officer of the Altana Digital Currency Fund.
El Salvador offers visas and citizenship to anyone who invests $1 million (in USDt or Bitcoin) in the country
Frankly uncompetitive in the global market (can get EU citizenship for less) so disappointing https://t.co/ALydiMAJRj
— Alistair Milne (@alistairmilne) December 7, 2023
It is now a matter of time before the program unfolds and we see how lucrative it ended up being and if there isn’t a next edition of it.
El Salvador recently approved Bitcoin bonds set to be offered on Bitfinex Securities, a regulated division of crypto exchange Bitfinexfrom the beginning of 2024.
Volcano Bond has just received regulatory approval from the Digital Assets Commission (CNAD).
We expect the bond to be issued during the first quarter of 2024.
This is just the beginning of new capital markets #Bitcoin in El Salvador.
— Bitcoin Office (@bitcoinofficesv) December 12, 2023
The so called ‘Volcano Bonds’ was announced in 2021. With a minimum investment of $100 (roughly Rs. 8,170), residents of El Salvador will be able to enter into Volcano Bonds – adding to the nation’s economy. Any appreciation in Bitcoin’s values will be shared with the bondholders.