Saifedean Ammous, the well-known economist and author of “The Bitcoin Standard,” has taken on a new role as an economic advisor to El Salvador’s National Bitcoin Office (ONBTC). The ONBTC made the announcement in a Twitter thread, revealing that Ammous will be providing economic advice to President Nayib Bukele and the ONBTC as the country continues to embrace cryptocurrency.
Ammous’s appointment comes after his participation in the CUBO+ development program in El Salvador, where he educated Salvadorans about the inner workings of Bitcoin and the Lightning Network. During his visit, he also had a meeting with President Bukele, where he shared his thoughts on the significant benefits of embracing economic freedom.
As an Austrian economist, bestselling author, and prominent Bitcoin advocate, Saifedean Ammous is a valuable addition to President Bukele’s Bitcoin team, which already includes Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert. His expertise will be crucial in advising on various economic policies.
Notably, Ammous will be serving as an economic advisor without receiving payment for his role.
Ammous has shown his support for El Salvador’s Bitcoin strategy in a recent interview, expressing confidence in the country’s potential to become a hub of innovation. He specifically praised President Bukele’s zero-tax policy for technology companies, which has attracted investors to the country. Ammous even expressed optimism about El Salvador’s ability to free itself from debt within the next five to ten years.
El Salvador’s National Bitcoin Office was established by President Bukele in late 2022, alongside Bitcoin advocates Stacy Herbert and Max Keiser. The ONBTC is responsible for managing all cryptocurrency-related matters in the country, as outlined in Decree No. 49.
El Salvador has been at the forefront of national cryptocurrency adoption, making Bitcoin legal tender in 2021 and introducing innovative Bitcoin bonds. However, reports on the progress of Bitcoin adoption in the country have been mixed, indicating a slower-than-expected uptake.
According to government data, cryptocurrency accounts for less than 2% of all remittances received by El Salvador. Remittances, which are a significant source of income for the country, primarily come from Salvadorans living abroad. The government had hoped that Bitcoin would offer more options and convenience for remittance senders and recipients. To facilitate this, El Salvador launched a dedicated Bitcoin app, but usage statistics indicate that only a fraction of the initial users continue to utilize the app.
Despite these challenges, the appointment of Saifedean Ammous as an economic advisor demonstrates El Salvador’s ongoing commitment to embracing cryptocurrency and leveraging its potential for economic growth and innovation.