MIZATA: El Salvador plans to build the world’s first “Bitcoin City”, funded initially by bitcoin-backed bonds, President Nayib Bukele said on Saturday, doubling down on his bet to harness the cryptocurrency to fuel investment in the Central American country.
Speaking at an event closing a week-long promotion of bitcoin in El Salvador, Bukele said the city planned in the eastern region of La Union would get geothermal power from a volcano and not levy any taxes except for value-added tax (VAT).
“Invest here and make all the money you want,” Bukele said in English, dressed all in white and wearing a reversed baseball cap, in the beach resort of Mizata. “This is a fully ecological city that works and is energized by a volcano.”
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Half of the VAT levied would be used to fund the bonds issued to build the city, and the other half would pay for services such as garbage collection, Bukele said, estimating the public infrastructure would cost around 300,000 bitcoins.
El Salvador in September became the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender.
Although Bukele is a popular president, opinion polls show Salvadorans are skeptical about his love of bitcoin, and its bumpy introduction has fueled protests against the government.