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What the "Startup Nation" can learn from the "Bitcoin Nation"

Updated: Jul 5, 2022

Salvadorian Minister of Economy visited Israel to discuss the benefits and challenges of digital currency integration

Minister Hayem with the team of INX. Photo courtesy INX
Minister Hayem with the team of INX. Photo courtesy INX

Salvadorian Minister of Economy, María Luisa Hayem, visited Israel last week and placed an emphasis on getting to know the local blockchain and crypto-industry.

In addition to speaking at the Israel Crypto Conference, the minister met with various companies and presented the vision of El Salvador – the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as an official currency – regarding the full integration of crypto, as well as the technological, financial, and regulatory challenges El Salvador has been facing.

Minister Hayem commended President Nayhib Bukele’s decision to adopt bitcoin, saying that the new digital wallet possibilities mean that many citizens, who did not previously own bank accounts, can now participate in the country’s economy. This, in addition to the rise in foreign investments.

Executives of INX, an Israeli cryptocurrency trading platform and digital security company, presented Hayem with the company’s vision of the future of digital assets, stressing the importance of open dialogue between regulators and tech companies to bring about change and implement technological systems that will benefit civilians.

“El Salvador is an example of a government that sees the future and is committed, not only to providing leading technology, but also one that understands regulation and common international standards,” said INX COO, Itai Avneri.

“The decision to adopt Bitcoin as a currency is only the first step ahead of developments that will surely come, such as the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) and a digital identity card, a step that many countries – including Israel – are currently examining.”

Criptoinforme mentions that one of the partnerships forged by Hayem during her visit to Israel was with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with which she signed an exchange-of-knowledge agreement. Students will be able to strengthen their knowledge of crypto systems and digital economic development, and also obtain internships offered by the Salvadoran Cooperation Agency.

According to Criptoinforme, El Salvador has agreed to assist Israel with the integration of digital currency, as it has with other nations. The website mentions that in recent days, 44 members of central banks and financial authorities have visited the Latin American country in recent days for a review on bitcoin usage.

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