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Vitalik Buterin: Bitcoin Fans ‘Ignored’ El Salvador’s Non-Democratic Government

Vitalik Buterin: Bitcoin Fans 'Ignored' El Salvador's Non-Democratic Government

Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin again criticized the bitcoin community’s enthusiasm for El Salvador and its president, Nayib Bukele, saying that many bitcoin supporters ignored the fact that Bukele’s government is “not very democratic.”

“This is one of my criticisms of the bitcoin community: they just automatically love all the rich and powerful who support bitcoin,” Buterin said in a video interview with Straits Times.

According to the co-founder of Ethereum, “Many bitcoin people have ignored the fact that Bukele’s government is not a very democratic government that actually has a lot of problems and is not that good at respecting other people’s freedoms.”

El Salvador was the first country in the world to accept Bitcoin as legal tender, making it mandatory for merchants across the country to accept the largest cryptocurrency as a payment method. This move caused massive discontent among citizens and businesses.

El Salvador’s bitcoin law, first announced at the Bitcoin Miami conference in June 2021, has received Bukele’s approval from some of the loudest voices in bitcoin. However, Bukele’s regime has been criticized for its well-documented authoritarian tendencies and the coercive nature of bitcoin adoption.

Bitcoin adoption in El Salvador is ‘not very sustainable’

El Salvador’s bitcoin law was introduced in the midst of a crypto bull market when the price of bitcoin peaked at over $69,000 last November.

Since then, the cryptocurrency market has plummeted, with bitcoin down over 76% from its all-time high.

Buterin believes El Salvador’s bitcoin adoption model was based on the expectation that prices would continue to rise, but because bitcoin ended up going down, “now it just looks terrible and not many people use it.”

“Basically, just like the adoption of Bitcoin, very strongly imposed from the top down, it just turned out not to be very sustainable,” Buterin said. Despite the fall in the price of Bitcoin, the Bukele regime remains committed to accepting Bitcoin; Just last week, the president announced that El Salvador would start buying one bitcoin every day.

This is not the first time a Canadian programmer has criticized Bukele for using bitcoin as legal tender. Commenting on the issue last year, Buterin said that “committing businesses to accept certain cryptocurrencies runs counter to the ideals of freedom that should be so important to the crypto space.”

He also questioned “the tactic of simultaneously providing BTC to millions of people in El Salvador, with little or no attempt at prior education”, calling it a “reckless” move that puts innocent people at risk of being hacked or scammed.

“Shame on everyone (okay, okay, I’ll name the main culprits: shame on the bitcoin maximalists) who uncritically praise him,” Buterin said at the time.

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Written by khirou

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