This week, 44 central bankers from developing countries around the world are attending a conference in El Salvador to discuss financial inclusion, financing for small and medium-sized businesses and Bitcoin (BTC).
Central bank delegates from Ghana to Burundi, Jordan to the Maldives and Pakistan to Costa Rica arrived in San Salvador for the conference upon El SalvadorPresident Nayib Bukele’s invitation.
Organized by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, a global policy leadership alliance, and in partnership with El Salvador’s central bank, the conference will run for three days. In a tweet, the head of El Salvador central bank, Douglas Rodríguez, shared:
“El Salvador is proud to receive representatives from 44 central banks and financial authorities to learn about the implementation of Bitcoin and policies to promote Financial Inclusion.”
Rodríguez’ superior, President Bukele, shared that he was “planting seeds” among the 44 delegates while tweeting a group photo of the leaders:
Planting seeds in 44 countries.— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) May 16, 2022
3 days to go…#Bitcoin is good for the world pic.twitter.com/eOwhJZQ4RX
The team behind the Bitcoin Beach project was also in attendance, on-hand to educate the central bankers. Bitcoin Beach, El Zonte, was the birthplace of the Bitcoin Law, a grassroots movement that led the first nation to adopt Bitcoin.
Nicolas Burtey, co-founder of Galoy Money — the company that built the Bitcoin Beach wallet — told Cointelegraph that "the conference is focused on financial inclusion."
"They [the central bankers] don't have much/any understanding of bitcoin [...] they want to learn."
Burtey continued, explaining in a tweet that there is "still a lot of education to do.” Burtey continued:
“[The] vast majority have no idea of the potential of bitcoin. But with El Salvador adopting Bitcoin, they now have a reason to dive into it.”
Burtey and his team spent the day speaking with central bankers, showing them how to use Bitcoin Lightning wallets and send payments. Progress was fast — so fast, in fact, that Burtey tweeted: “We can’t onboard the central banks fast enough to #bitcoin with the BTCBeachWallet.”
Photos of the event beggar belief, with central bankers studiously learning how to send payments and create wallets.
Central bankers lining up to get help downloading and using Bitcoin Beach Lightning wallet pic.twitter.com/CWupR1Td4K— Bitcoin Beach (@Bitcoinbeach) May 16, 2022
At present, only two countries around the world have recognized Bitcoin as legal tender: El Salvador and recently the Central African Republic, which was subsequently scolded by African central banks for adopting cryptocurrencies.
On day two of the conference, President Bukele shared that "Bitcoin is good for developing countries (and for humanity)," in a tweet. The conference ends on Thursday, 19 May.
Central bankers and financial regulators from 44 countries enjoying their second day of talks about financial inclusion, banking the unbanked, and #Bitcoin adoption in @Bitcoinbeach and in El Salvador pic.twitter.com/OVgpwaUNyO— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) May 18, 2022
Related: El Salvador’s central bank accepts Qredo's registration to provide crypto services
For some commentators, such as Dan Tapiero of investment fund 10T holdings, who memorably told Cointelegraph during an interview “I don’t have cash,” El Salvador’s financial inclusion conference is momentous. He insinuates that the United States might need to catch up:
#Bitcoin...— Dan Tapiero (@DTAPCAP) May 17, 2022
The first truly global global macro investment of all time...
...with El Salvador leading?!!
32 central banks, 44 countries flying to El S.
Emg countries leading adoption.
First time US not ahead in financial and technological innovation.https://t.co/XKOURSJ2SA pic.twitter.com/mF8GaBezDW
For hardcore Bitcoiners, nonetheless, the opportunity to make a joke about the event was just too great. Gigi, a Bitcoin writer and author of Bitcoin book 21 lessons, tweeted “If they keep using Bitcoin they wont be central bankers much longer!”