Samson Mow was interviewed in Guatemala on the IBEX Mercado podcast about his recent venture into helping nation-states adopt Bitcoin. IBEX is a Bitcoin focused company that aims to make Lightning more accessible to people and businesses around the world. The podcast is a recent addition for the company to help spread Bitcoin education.
Mow has been involved in the Bitcoin space for several years and is well known for his work at Blockstream. Previously the CSO, Mow recently left his position with the company in order to spend all of his time supporting and helping nation-states work on Bitcoin adoption.
With the goal to accelerate hyperbitcoinization, Mow explains the game theory that occurs when nations around the world begin integrating Bitcoin infrastructure. By adopting Bitcoin as legal tender earlier than the rest of the world, El Salvador gets to benefit more than countries that choose to wait and see how their economy develops on a Bitcoin standard.
Mow explains that being the first country to accept Bitcoin as legal tender is a massive advantage that will help the country to thrive. Critics and spectators continue to wait and see whether or not their Bitcoin investment pays off. Mow states the fact that El Salvador is already seeing the benefits of a Bitcoin standard because of the significant increase in tourism for the country.
Along with the free marketing and tourism, nation-states that do not rely on other countries to supply their energy are at a massive advantage. El Salvador is currently building infrastructure to mine Bitcoin through geothermal energy produced by their volcanos. Guatemala is in a similar position where the country also has access to geothermal and hydropower that can be used for mining Bitcoin. With direct access to energy, Central American countries will be able to take full advantage of Bitcoin mining and convert their resources directly into Bitcoin.
Mow also brought up the fact that all nation-states and municipalities will adopt Bitcoin differently from one another. He states that El Salvador is a special case and an outlier compared to the processes that other countries must adhere to in order to adopt Bitcoin. For example, Lugano, Switzerland made Bitcoin and USDT de facto legal tender rather than going through the federal channels to be recognized by the whole country.
Technically, Lugano does not have the powers to make Bitcoin legal tender for their own residents but city officials may instead accept Bitcoin payments for their services. They may also encourage merchants to do the same. At this time, Lugano is setting up a $100 million fund to deploy Bitcoin payments to all businesses within the city. They are also working on promoting more Bitcoin adoption and education.
This same custom solution can be done in Guatemala to make Bitcoin legal tender without needing to have Bitcoin recognized as legal tender by the rest of the country. El Salvador is currently the most important trading partner with Guatemala. As El Salvador recognizes the U.S. dollar and Bitcoin as legal tender, Guatemala may be inclined to settle trade with El Salvador in Bitcoin rather than U.S. dollars.
Through creative means, Bitcoin adoption may occur faster than expected. Mow is currently traveling between El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala to help with consulting politicians and other high profile stakeholders on the benefits of Bitcoin for their countries. “There is only one path, and that is the path to get to Bitcoin,” says Mow.