‘Freedom visa’: What is El Salvador’s new plan to increase tourism, revenue via BTC

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.

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.

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.

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.

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