Upon hearing of the positive consequences that came with making bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador, (such as attracting foreign investment and increasing domestic consumption) Mexican senator Indira Kempis is looking to introduce a bill to make bitcoin legal tender in Mexico. Tourism in El Salvador has increased by over 30% according to the Salvadoran Tourism Minister Morena Valdez; GDP has increased by over 10%, marking the first year of double digit GDP growth in El Salvador.
“We did a poll to check the activity according to the before and after of Bitcoin. The tourism sector increased in November and December. This increased by more than 30%,” Valdez said in an interview. She also stated that more and more tourists were coming from the United States amid bitcoin adoption. As many as 60% of all tourists came from the US.
Government officials in Mexico have become interested in following the path of El Salvador. Some of the richest men in Mexico have displayed a strong willingness to make bitcoin legal tender. The third-richest billionaire in Mexico, Ricardo Salinas Pliego, advises people to buy while the price remains low, and hold onto bitcoin without even thinking about selling. “Trust me you’re going to thank me later” he added.
Indira Kempis stated: “It is clear to me that financial exclusion is one of the public problems that few of us have addressed with feasible alternatives, and that this type of technology is allowing us to generate an alternative so that millions of people can be included in the financial system.” She continued to cement the contention that bitcoin is the first opportunity, for many, to store their fiat currency and assets in a secure place. Transactions with bitcoin can be much cheaper and quicker, especially during cross-border payments, than with fiat.
The future for bitcoin and its institutional adoption is looking bright, Kempis has been working with crypto entrepreneurs and supporters since she took office. She claimed that “now that I am participating in politics, I seek to promote it.”
However, the biggest nudge came after witnessing how El Salvador is becoming a noteworthy hub for bitcoin and cryptocurrency in the world. She echoed her voice on the matter by saying: “Every time El Salvador was discussed, it was always to address issues of migration, violence, and organized crime, and now the world’s gaze is not on those public problems, but because of this great call at a global level with bitcoin.”
The adoption of bitcoin and the introduction of the cryptocurrency as legal tender aligns ideally with her goals of guaranteeing education and financial inclusion for all. Kempis added: “Making bitcoin a legal tender means putting a level playing field for people who are excluded in almost all countries…We need bitcoin to be legal tender in Mexico, because if it is not so, if we do not make that decision as El Salvador did, it is very difficult to take action.”