8.2 C
New York
Friday, November 26, 2021
HomeCryptoCurrencyMeet Saúl, a bitcoiner from El Salvador who helps the elderly in...

Meet Saúl, a bitcoiner from El Salvador who helps the elderly in his community

In the department of Chalatenango, a rural area located about 90 kilometers north of the capital of El Salvador, lives Saúl M. He is a systems engineering technician, an electrical technician of residential installations and is dedicated to the manufacture of handicrafts.

Saúl, 43 years old and who likes to spend time and share activities with his family, leads an active life. After working hours, he goes out three times a week in the afternoons to exercise by bicycle. He also plays soccer and, at the end of the games, talks with his friends about different topics: politics, the needs of the community, and also about Bitcoin (BTC).

Unlike Other Salvadorans who learned about cryptocurrency only after the announcement of the Bitcoin Law by President Nayib Bukele, Saúl was already a bitcoiner from a little before.

«I got to know bitcoin through a friend in June 2020 », he tells in dialogue with CriptoNoticias. “This friend told me about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and motivated me to do hodl ,” he adds. With « hodl », Saúl refers to the investment strategy that consists of acquiring bitcoin (they can also be fractions of bitcoin called satoshis) and keep it in time waiting for its appreciation to increase .

Saúl M. was not done hodler immediately, as he says, “out of fear and ignorance.” However, it did do what anyone should do before buying their first satoshis: research.

For 9 months, Saúl read everything he found about cryptocurrencies and, mainly, about BTC. “In March 2021 I got my first satoshis and that’s how I have been accumulating and saving sats”, he tells us.

Saúl’s solidarity work with bitcoin

Saúl not only accumulates bitcoin as a means of saving for himself and his family, but also has launched a solidarity initiative in which cryptocurrency has a lot to do with it.

Through the network social Twitter, this Salvadoran receives donations in BTC from all over the world. Periodically, with that money, he goes to the local stores and makes purchases for older adults .

The task I do is very difficult. The community I live in is a rural area and there is high extreme poverty. Right now I have begun to benefit only older adults, 70 years and older, because they are people who sometimes do not have relatives and depend on what their neighbors give them.

Saúl M., Salvadoran bitcoiner

Saúl’s Twitter account, @saulhodl, is almost entirely dedicated to his solidarity initiative. The description, instead of containing information about his life, indicates, in English: “To donate bitcoin on-chain or in the Lightning network, enter this link and benefit people in need.”

The link leads to the page to send money, Strike, widely used in the United States and El Salvador. From there, anyone, anywhere in the world and without the need to provide data, can send Saúl the amount of BTC they want to donate .

On Twitter, Saúl also shares testimonies and photographs of the beneficiaries and shows the purchases he makes and how much he spends. In this way, donors can verify the destination of the funds.

Saúl tells us that the people who receive the food get very happy and congratulate and motivate him. “When poverty is very high in a place, people who receive a little, even if it is about USD 5 in food, feel happy”, says the craftsman and adds: “I give a lot, although for me it is not much, but I I would like to give each person more. Because I give each person USD 40 in food. ”

In addition, Saúl M. takes the opportunity to do the shopping for the elderly to talk to them about bitcoin. “That’s not touch money!” They often say to him. And he, then, explains to them that it is a digital money that, although it cannot be seen, is real money that can be used in many shops .

Saúl’s experience with the Bitcoin Law of El Salvador

Those words from Saúl led us to ask him if, indeed, bitcoin can be used in many businesses, at least in the place where he resides. “Unfortunately, in the municipality where I live, there are only three places that accept payments with BTC: a somewhat large supermarket, an agroservice and a small shop where I buy food for the benefited people,” he replies.

Regarding the wallet promoted by the government, Chivo Wallet, the solidarity bitcoiner says that its experience has not been very good. He mentions that has had problems making BTC shipments, which are in pending status . “I only shop from Goat to Goat so as not to have problems,” he mentions.

With the donations he receives, Saúl buys groceries for the elderly. Source: Twitter.

Your experience is similar to of thousands of Salvadorans who have had problems with the use of this application, a fact that was detailed by CriptoNoticias weeks ago.

Also, Saúl gives his opinion on the acceptance of cryptocurrency in El Salvador . For him, “people are hardly interested in using bitcoin.” He says that many registered in the Chivo Wallet just to collect the bonus of USD 30 paid in bitcoin, but then they converted them to dollars or spent them.

Our interviewee believes that this can happen because of fear of BTC volatility, due to lack of education and lack of access to new technologies. “80% of the people I have given food to do not have a telephone. The old people do not use or care. They prefer to buy groceries and not buy a phone », he details.

In any case, Saúl is happy with the Bitcoin Law , which came into effect on September 7.

The Bitcoin Law has benefited the country. (…) There are many benefits because you really no longer need to give cash, in fiat currency. You just take out the wallet, pay at any store and it becomes very easy. Although bitcoin does not need any law because it is a decentralized currency that works anywhere.

Saúl M., Salvadoran bitcoiner.

Saul too values ​​that, with bitcoin and Chivo Wallet, Salvadorans should not pay commissions when sending or receiving remittances . It also highlights that at Chivo ATMs you can change between dollars and BTC without commission if you use the official application.

On things to improve, the interviewee mentions education. He considers that it is necessary to further educate the population and merchants on how and why to use bitcoin.

By Finally, it makes mention of article 7 of the Bitcoin Law that imposes the obligation to accept payments in the cryptocurrency. Saúl would like it to be optional. “Let’s remember that bitcoin is freedom and it should be free for each person to accept it,” he says.

Follow World Weekly News on

Sandra Loyd
Sandra is the Reporter working for World Weekly News. She loves to learn about the latest news from all around the world and share it with our readers.

Leave a Reply

Must Read