[Forbes, Getty Images]
Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have surged over the last couple of months, with the bitcoin price hitting highs of around $52,000 per bitcoin—up from under $30,000 just a few months ago.
The price of top ten cryptocurrencies ethereum, cardano, Binance’s BNB, Ripple’s XRP, solana and dogecoin have also rocketed in recent weeks, with most major cryptocurrencies far outpacing bitcoin’s latest rally.
Now, with the Central American country of El Salvador gearing up to adopt bitcoin as legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar this week, social media users coordinating bitcoin purchases to coincide with the $30 worth of bitcoin that’s being distributed to all Salvadorans.
“Apparently people in Brazil and all over the world are planning to convert $30 worth of their local fiat into bitcoin this Tuesday, September 7 to commemorate El Salvador’s law making the open-source, decentralized, debasement-proof currency legal tender,” Human Rights Foundation chief strategy officer and bitcoin proponent Alex Gladstein said via Twitter, sharing a Reddit link to a bitcoin community call to arms.
The bitcoin-buying plan, spread among Reddit’s r/bitcoin 3.3 million users, recalls similar coordinated pile-ins to so-called meme stocks and memecoins this year, with Gamestop GME and Elon Musk’s cryptocurrency of choice, dogecoin, some of the biggest winners.
“I have meant this as more of a support gesture, rather than a pump,” wrote Reddit user thadiusb. “It’s a first that a nation has adopted bitcoin. This is an important time in bitcoin. Let’s show El Salvador, for those who are on the fence about it still, that bitcoin has value for them. And for everyone. Bitcoin is meaningful.”
In June, it was revealed that every adult citizen in El Salvador will receive $30 worth of bitcoin when they downloaded and registered for the government’s cryptocurrency app. The plan to formally adopt bitcoin as legal tender was revealed by El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele at a bitcoin conference in June and has been rushed through the country’s legislature with little scrutiny. In recent weeks, some Salvadorans have protested against bitcoin adoption, with a poll showing many fear it will feed corruption and further enrich elites.
Countries in the region and around the world are though closely watching for signs of success in El Salvador, with Bukele predicting the high cost of people sending money to family and friends from around the world will be reduced by bitcoin use.
“One of the reasons we passed the bitcoin law is precisely to help people who send remittances,” Bukele said earlier this year.
However, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned bitcoin adoption could destabilize the economy and expose the government and regular citizens to additional exchange-rate risk.
Despite the bitcoin and crypto market braced for El Salvador’s bitcoin earthquake this week, some market watchers aren’t expecting major moves until the $50,000 mark becomes a stronger support level.
“Bitcoin hasn’t looked back since it found buyers at $30,000 and has managed to recover relatively quickly, allaying concerns around a prolonged bear market,” Joe DiPasquale the chief executive of bitcoin-focused hedgefund BitBull Capital, wrote in emailed comments. “However, it is still struggling to flip $50,000 into a strong support level and until that happens, we are unlikely to see it making big moves.”
While smaller cryptocurrencies have outperformed bitcoin in recent weeks, bitcoin is still regarded as the market’s prime mover.
“Ethereum has skyrocketed after a long consolidation and has taken the entire market up with it,” added DiPasquale. “Altcoins [including cardano, Binance’s BNB, Ripple’s XRP, solana and dogecoin] in general have been performing well over the last few weeks but the entire market sentiment rests on bitcoin managing to find a strong footing above $50,000. We expect a new all-time-high for bitcoin this year, especially between October and November.”