[Forbes, Getty Images]
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices have soared this week as sanctions on Russia push people toward bitcoin.
The bitcoin price has added more than 20% since dropping to lows of under $35,000 per bitcoin last week. Meanwhile, the price of ethereum and smaller coins BNB, solana, cardano, XRP, Terra’s luna and avalanche have also rocketed higher—with luna and avalanche leaving the rest in the dust.
Now, Samson Mow, the chief strategy officer at bitcoin infrastructure company Blockstream since 2017 and an advisor to El Salvador during its adoption of bitcoin, has announced he’s leaving the company to focus on furthering “nation-state bitcoin adoption”—and naming Mexico as “on the list” of countries that could adopt bitcoin.
“I plan to focus on nation-state bitcoin adoption,” Mow posted to Twitter announcing his departure and adding “it feels like now is a pivotal point in bitcoin’s evolution—we’re on the verge of mass adoption, and I think that I can make it happen faster.”
Responding to a question on Twitter asking which countries he’s “focusing on,” Mow replied: “Mexico is on the list.”
Mow, who said he’d also be working on his gaming company Pixelmatic, last month had a Twitter exchange with Mexico’s third-richest man Ricardo Salinas Pliego about bitcoin mining in the North American country and has posted a photo with Mexico senator Indira Kempis—who’s working to make bitcoin legal tender in the country.
“I’m working with people from a number of countries and it’s still too early to say for sure but bitcoin adoption in some form will be inevitable,” says Mow, speaking via Twitter DM.
Some politicians from other countries in the region have also pushed for bitcoin adoption although so far they’re taking a wait-and-see approach to El Salvador’s controversial bitcoin experiment, which has seen the country buy almost 2,000 bitcoins.
El Salvador’s firebrand president Nayib Bukele has spearheaded the country’s bitcoin adoption, facing off with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after it demanded he drop bitcoin as legal tender.
Next month, El Salvador plans to issue a historic $1 billion bitcoin bond via Blocksteam’s Liquid platform that’ll party fund bitcoin mining infrastructure on top of a volcano. Mow told Coindesk in December the bond had attracted $300 million worth of soft commitments.
“With everything happening at light speed in El Salvador, and more and more countries interested in adopting bitcoin, I found my time each day just no longer enough anymore,” Mow said in his Twitter thread.
In January, Wall Street giant Fidelity predicted other countries and even a central bank could follow El Salvador into bitcoin this year—saying that those who buy bitcoin while the price is low “will be better off competitively than their peers.”
“There is very high stakes game theory at play here, whereby if bitcoin adoption increases, the countries that secure some bitcoin today will be better off competitively than their peers,” Fidelity analysts Chris Kuiper and Jack Neureuter wrote in a note, adding they “wouldn’t be surprised to see other sovereign nation-states acquire bitcoin in 2022 and perhaps even see a central bank make an acquisition.”
By Billy Bambrough