El Salvador is setting its sights on Bitcoin ($BTC) and cryptocurrency millionaires, offering them the unique opportunity to gain instant citizenship through a new ‘Freedom Visa’. It is part of the country’s broader strategy to foster sustainable growth and attract global wealth.
This move is in line with the country’s pro-crypto attitude after adopting Bitcoin as legal tender in 2021.
The newly launched program invites influential individuals from the cryptocurrency sphere to invest in the nation’s future. For a substantial fee of $1 million, payable in Bitcoin or Tether ($USDT), applicants can fast-track their way to Salvadoran citizenship.
This approach mirrors the “Golden Visa” concept prevalent in various countries, where significant investments in bonds or real estate secure residency permits.
However, El Salvador’s program stands out for its hefty price tag, which is notably higher than similar schemes in Caribbean nations like Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and St. Lucia.
El Salvador’s Freedom Visa
El Salvador’s official website details its vision to invite 1,000 individuals annually who are committed to making a positive impact globally. Successful applicants will receive a Salvadoran passport, marking their participation in the nation’s “transformative journey”.
The official website said: “El Salvador is experiencing a renaissance driven by bold leadership, economic liberty, and a commitment to financial freedom. We are actively seeking the brightest minds globally to join us in building this vision of a better tomorrow.”
The program’s limitation to 1,000 participants per year ensures exclusivity and focus.
Within a week of its launch, Max Keiser, a prominent journalist and cryptocurrency advisor to President Nayib Bukele, announced that 153 spots have already been filled.
This rapid uptake translates into $153 million for El Salvador, funds earmarked for strategic investments and infrastructure enhancements, further bolstering its Bitcoin acquisition efforts.
El Salvador collaborated with Tether to ensure the success of the Freedom Visa program. Tether is recognized for its verified liquidity as the leading private stablecoin project operating across multiple decentralized blockchain protocols.
Bitcoin adoption history in El Salvador
El Salvador’s relationship with Bitcoin is not new. In September 2021, it became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, a decision that has since resulted in the accumulation of over 2,700 BTC in its national treasury. This bold move has generated over $3 million in unrealized profits.
Recently, President Bukele announced that El Salvador’s Bitcoin portfolio had returned to profitability. This statement was a direct response to sceptics who had doubted the country’s Bitcoin investment strategy.
However, this claim has been met with scepticism, with some critics challenging the accuracy of the information regarding El Salvador’s Bitcoin holdings.