The full interview with President Nayib Bukele, undertaken days after the Bitcoin Law became effective on September 7th 2021, sections of which were included in my film “Follow The Money #1 – Bitcoin in El Salvador”. In this interview, we discuss motivation, opposition and legacy.
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A few days following Bitcoin being given legal status, I was granted an exclusive access interview with President Bukele for the purposes of my film “Follow The Money #1 – Bitcoin in El Salvador”. Following the release of the film, it is time to publish the full interview.
It has been over 8 months since El Salvador became the first country in the world to make Bitcoin legal tender. A lot has been written about El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law, and a lot has happened since. But what was it like to be at the centre of this unprecedented event? An event that could change not just El Salvador’s future, but also Bitcoin’s and the rest of the world.
The discussion covers President Bukele’s enthusiasm for what Bitcoin can do for his country and his people; the incredible timescale within which the law was passed (it was a mere 3 months from being enacted to becoming law); the strategy behind the country’s purchases of Bitcoin; internal and external opposition; and the plan behind the articles of the Bitcoin Law.
As background noise to all these changes is vocal concerns about authoritarian actions Bukele is taking; he has removed judges, influenced a change in the constitution to enable a potential second term, had troops enter parliament, and implemented stern policies aimed at reducing gang violence. The term “dictator” is banded around.
Nevertheless, he is an extremely popular president: he has an approval rating of 85%. Many citizens, sick of the years of violence and corruption, are pleased to finally see a decisive Salvadoran President. Could he become a beacon for the wider region? Could he be the leader of the Bitcoin age?