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Boston nurse fired for nudes on OnlyFans launches crypto porn app

Former Boston ICU nurse Allie Rae made international news in August last year after she was fired for running an extremely naughty Only Fans account on the side. The story appeared everywhere from the NY Post, to CNN, The Daily Beast and she even made…

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Former Boston ICU nurse Allie Rae made international news in August last year after she was fired for running an extremely naughty Only Fans account on the side. The story appeared everywhere from the NY Post, to CNN, The Daily Beast and she even made an appearance on Dr Phil.

The resulting publicity saw fans subscribing in droves and the 37-year old mother of three now makes more than $200,000 a month.

But the same sort of moralizing and censorship that ended her nursing career also threatens her newfound wealth from Only Fans. Just six days after her story was made public, Only Fans announced it would ban sexually explicit content, under pressure from its banking partners.

“When the news broke about the payment processing and OnlyFans I began looking at other platforms to switch to, and quickly realized they too could fall into the same trap down the road,” Rae says on the line from her new home in crypto friendly Florida.

“It was at that time that I figured out crypto was the answer.

Shes assembled a team of 20 developers and is putting the finishing touches on a new Only Fans meets Instagram style crypto-powered social platform called WetSpace. Its due to launch in beta in February, accepting payments in a range of stablecoins across different chains to mitigate issues with gas fees. NFT support will come in the projects second stage mid-year.

 

 

 

 

Porn has long been seen as one of the best chances crypto has for adoption: Users can remain anonymous and performers dont have to deal with payment processors charging them high fees or unilaterally cutting off services under opaque morality clauses.

Despite this, as Magazine discovered in the past, crypto payments have failed to take off. Pornhub tried and failed with Verge, then moved to using Pumapays service, which was crippled by high gas fees on Ethereum and is in the process of relaunching on Binance Smart Chain. Spankchain attempted a more modest platform targeting crypto users but has had limited success so far, though its still in the game and is developing SpankPay V2 based on user feedback. Cumrocket is developing an NFT marketplace but reports limited availability of its CUMMIES tokens on exchanges.

Rae believes a major problem is trying to launch projects with related adult tokens. “I had been watching the fall of other adult shit coins and how their model was destined to fail serving two masters creators and holders. That is when WetSpace came about.”

Rae points out that adult coins add an extra step to the process and most are very volatile which isn’t attractive to users or models.

So I thought, Well we don’t need a coin, like, why go through all the drama of this coin? Of course, you’d get a lot of money up front, and it would definitely help fund your project. But luckily, I didn’t need to be concerned about the financial side of it, because I had the money to put into it.”

How she got here

The mother of three teenage sons, Rae is an unlikely porn star turned crypto entrepreneur. She joined the Navy at 17 and married husband Steven the following year (he sometimes stars in her videos). She then worked for five years in marketing, management and real estate, before getting her dream job in nursing. “I was obsessed, she says. “I was a straight A nursing student, it was truly my passion and still is, it really is.”

Rae received a Masters in Nursing Education and specialized in Neonatal Intensive Care, nursing sick babies back to health. “Even though it was such a tragic time for so many families there were also so many great moments, she says. I was a wonderful NICU nurse very, very good at my job.”

But bored at home during the pandemic, she started up an Instagram account posting about hockey and craft beer. This attracted a devoted male following, some of whom suggested she start an Only Fans. When she read news reports that the actress Bella Thorne had made $1M on the platform in a single day, she decided to take their advice.

“I posted a few pictures and I really actually had kind of fun with it. It was quite liberating, you know, at my age and before you knew it, I had so many subscribers and we were actually making good money on there.”

By the end of her first month shed made $6,900 more than the $6,500 she was paid as a nurse.

Unfortunately for Rae not everyone is a fan of Only Fans and a group of six of what she calls her mean girl colleagues, led by a Pastors wife, stumbled across her Instagram and then screenshotted her Only Fans content for management.

News spread like wildfire through the hospital and that was ultimately what I think drove management to have to act.

Their overall consensus was that it was now such a distraction on the unit, with everybody knowing, that if I was going to continue to do that, I couldn’t work there,” she adds.

“I wasn’t mentally ready to leave, I’ll tell you it was very difficult. There’s a lot of tears shed in that. But I think given how toxic the environment and how judged I felt there, I wasn’t looked at the same, it was probably the right thing to do.”

Tailor made for the media

Firing an ICU nurse in the middle of a pandemic due to her porny Only Fans account is an editors wet dream (not Magazine of course, we’re strictly interested in the future of finance) and the story went viral. She went from making $35K a month from her side hustle to $200K a month thanks to the publicity. Steven gave up his airline job to help full time with the business.

“Our success was just unbelievable and so it became hard to not make it a priority, she says.

Its crazy to go from being a suburban hockey mom slash nurse to now I’m like this advocate for the sex industry. I mean, it’s very, very different.”

Porn payments

Part of that advocacy is trying to figure out a way for creators and operators to escape the stranglehold that traditional payment processors have on it. In recent years the war on adult sites by payment processors has ramped up, supported by the emotive campaigns of anti-porn crusaders.

A case in point in the famed New York Times piece in December 2020 called The Children of Pornhub. Columnist Nicholas Kristof sensationally claimed the site is infested with rape videos. It monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags. He argued the site facilitated sex trafficking and cited a petition with 2.1 million signatures calling for it to be closed.

Often mistakenly referred to as an investigation, the NYT billed the piece as opinion meaning its usual standards of fact checking dont apply. Mashable summed up the piece as being based on the dubious and distorted findings and arguments of one anti-sex work conservative group. It caused a massive backlash and MasterCard and Visa quickly announced they would no longer provide services to Pornhub, threatening the viability of the tie.

The deplatforming of sex sites by payment companies has ramped up considerably in recent years, following the passing of the controversial FOSTA-SESTA (Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act) in 2018.

Raes first encounter with the issue, came when Only Fans caused outrage in August last year by announcing it would ban ‘sexually explicit’ content, threatening the livelihoods of 2 million creators making $2.3 billion a year. Founder and CEO of OnlyFans Tim Stokely blamed BNY Mellon, Metro Bank, and JPMorgan Chase for refusing to process payments, though the ban was quickly reversed after banking partners assurances that OnlyFans can support all genres of creators.

“A lot of people at that time were reaching out to me, what do you think about this? Oh, my gosh, where are you going? You’re making so much money. Now where are you going to put your content?” she recalls.

Rae explains that shed considered other platforms but realized competitors are at the mercy of the banks as well.

“That’s when my brain really got to turn on to: what is the solution to this?, she says.“At that time, I didn’t fully understand the nature of what was going on. But I did a lot of research and I started to really dive into the dark, you know, part of what’s going on in terms of the big financial institutions.”

“Porn is always looked at as taboo. There’s a stigma out there. But the amount of control that these banking industries have, over every platform that runs primarily on fiat, is scary.”

Counterpoint

She argues that Only Fans gives creators a safer way to work in the sex industry than in a strip club or on the streets. And while she believes in taking firm action against sex trafficking and child pornography, she says those aims are only selectively pursued by payment processors.

A 2020 survey from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children revealed Facebook had 20.3 million reported incidents of child sexual abuse materials, Google had 546,704 incidents, Twitter had 65,062, Snapchat 144,095, and TikTok 22,692.

Way down the bottom of the list was Pornhubs parent company MindGeek with 13,000.

“Facebook literally is the leader in child sex trafficking, and they’re definitely not shutting them down, she says. How much of it is in regards to them just truly wanting to get rid of the people in this industry (porn) and ban this type of content is it really about child trafficking?”

The banks are the issue across the board. And the only natural solution to that is well, how do we get rid of the banks? Well, luckily, there’s decentralization, and there’s crypto.”

Crypto and the porn industry

Rae had dabbled in crypto previously, making a bundle off of Dogecoin when Elon Musk’s tweets drove it to the moon, and playing around with creating her own NFTs when Cumrocket launched its NSFW NFT marketplace in mid-2021.

She says the anonymity of crypto is perfect for users who want to sign up but cant afford to have an Only Fans entry on their bank statements.

“I get DMs all the time saying God, I wish I could join Only Fans. But you know, I just can’t have my accountant seeing all the charges.'” There’s a huge market that a lot of creators aren’t able to tap into.

The WetSpace interface will look a lot like Instagram with a feed, a discovery feature for creators and later on, a marketplace enabling models to sell NFTs with added bonuses like free subscriptions, premium snaps or video chats. WetSpace will charge creators 15% (Only Fans charges 20%) and they can select which cryptocurrencies to accept. They receive the money instantly and don’t have to worry about chargebacks.

Rae says its about 90% complete right now, with new features being added all the time.

We have a Discord (forum) that’s really poppin, lots of creators saying, Hey, are we gonna have this? Can we do this? And I’m like, Yes, were gonna have so many great things. I think it’s going to be a fun place to be for the user and the creator. And I’m excited and I hope it revolutionizes this entire industry.”

Yeah, but

While theres no doubting her ambitions, so far though crypto payments in porn haven’t really worked out. In early 2020, Spankchain performer and ambassador Allie Eve Knox explained to Magazine why:

These are old dudes that are just trying to get off and then now they have to go through this whole thing of creating a wallet, saving a seed phrase, getting crypto, moving it into a wallet. [] Its not just Im gonna go buy porn in 15 minutes and relieve myself process.

Rae however believes times have changed and that the tech is more widespread and user friendly than ever before. She concedes the biggest hurdle will be helping noobs get started, but there will be step by step explainers and guides on how to buy crypto through a connected Coinbase, Metamask or Trust wallet.

“I want very, very clear clicks: like sign up for your wallet here step-by-step because I do understand it is a learning curve. We are putting a lot of time and money into the educational side of this. Because it truly is really easy once you get going.”

Crypto is in your face everywhere now. A couple of years ago, people would laugh at you if you talked about Bitcoin, people were like, Oh, God, one of those Bitcoin people! And look at it now. It’s an actual currency. I think a lot of people who didn’t believe in it before are definitely starting to be like, Okay, what is this all about? And they’re wanting to know more.

There’s no doubt in my mind, it will be a very, very big part of pornography, or any type of subscription base for adult content, she says. I dont think its going away.

 

 

 

 

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Daily Crunch: a16z literally doubles down, announces $4.5B crypto fund IV

Hello friends and welcome to Daily Crunch, bringing you the most important startup, tech and venture capital news in a single package.

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To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3 p.m. PDT, subscribe here.

It’s Wednesday the 25th of May, 2022, and we are devastated by the events of the last couple of days. It’s hard to put together a newsletter about tech against the backdrop of a school shooting. Big news events impact everyone differently, so please remember to give yourself and those around you a bit of extra space. We love you. — Haje and Christine

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • Going, going gone: Twitter confirmed that its former CEO Jack Dorsey stepped down from the company’s board today. No, it’s not a surprise. He and the company were vocal about when his final days would be. We assume Dorsey is happy with how he is leaving things.
  • No crypto slowdown to see here: Even with a grim cryptocurrency market report, there are still dollars to be raised if you are developing viable blockchain infrastructure. StarkWare Industries grabbed 100 million of them, bringing the company’s valuation to $8 billion, essentially a four-time boost from its previous round. Why is blockchain infrastructure so important? Why, integrity of the whole system of course, Jacquie reports.
  • Creepy crawlers: What’s half a millimeter wide and crawls? We’re sure there’s so many gross things running through your mind right now, but in this case it is a remote-controlled crab “robot” created by some geniuses at Northwestern University. Not sure what use there is for a teeny crab, but it’s cute anyway.

Image Credits: Northwestern University / Northwestern University

Startups and VC

In startupland, it’s all crypto all the time today. Lucas covers how a16z announced a $4.5 billion Web3 fund less than a year since it announced its $2.2 billion crypto fund III. Meanwhile, Volt Capital debuts a $50 million fund, also backed by a16z.

DJ Gabeau, one of Snapchat Stories’ earliest engineers and founder of Web3 social network Primitives, told TechCrunch that he thinks NFTs can be an enjoyable way for people to connect, Anita reports.

As members of the Terra community try to pick up the pieces from its currently defunct economy, Polygon launches a fund to entice the dozens of developers who had projects built on the inoperative blockchain, Jacquelyn reports.

And finally, the IRS’s tax partner ZenLedger was already off to the races, but it is leaning on the accelerator with a $15 million series B, Anita reports.

Don’t worry, there’s nonblockchain news too:

Despite regulatory roadblocks, these four US cannabis investors are planting seeds for tomorrow

The cannabis industry is doing very well in the United States.

A state-by-state patchwork of regulations has created a limited market for public and private companies that handle grow operations, distribution and transportation, inventory control, testing and point-of-sale software.

Budtenders are a frequent sight at California weddings, but Anna Heim found that the industry still has a long way to go before it reaches maturity, largely because federal laws continue to prevent cannabis-related business from using traditional financial services.

To learn more about the underlying market forces and hurdles facing entrepreneurs and investors in this maverick industry, she spoke to four investors:

  • Jacqueline Bennett, managing partner and co-founder, Highlands Venture Partners
  • Yoni Meyer, partner, Casa Verde Capital
  • Matt Hawkins, managing partner and co-founder, Entourage Effect Capital
  • Emily Paxhia, managing director, Poseidon Investment Management

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Big Tech Inc.

In anticipation of a possible reversal of abortion privacy law Roe v. Wade, a group of Democratic congressional members penned a letter to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, urging the company to consider changing the way it currently collects and retains cell phone location data records. Carly reports the fear is that it could become a tool for “far-right extremists looking to crack down on people seeking reproductive health care.”

Apple says its iOS App Store supports some 2.2 million jobs and was responsible for a 118% increase in U.S. small developer earnings over the past 2 years. Sarah and Natasha provide some analysis of the numbers, noting, “these figures highlight how important the App Store is to a wide range of global developers. That, in turn, could also help demonstrate why a system this large and powerful could also be due for more regulation and competition.”

Speaking of Apple, if you live in Maryland and have an Apple Wallet, you can store your driver’s license or state ID there. The state became the second, behind Arizona, to offer the feature.

Don’t miss these equally exciting stories from today:

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Crypto is changing how humanitarian agencies deliver aid and services

The primary use case for cryptocurrency in most wealthy countries is acquiring it and holding it, trading it, or using it in various other ways to make…

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The primary use case for cryptocurrency in most wealthy countries is acquiring it and holding it, trading it, or using it in various other ways to make more money. In the developing world, where access to financial and banking systems is limited or nonexistent, innovative humanitarian organizations are piloting micro-blockchain ecosystems.

In the summer of 2021, Hope for Haiti was ready to launch a cryptocurrency pilot program to provide 150 mothers with cellphones, digital wallets and payment cards that use near-field communication technology. Each mom participating in its community nutrition program was set to receive $50 per month in cUSD for six months to spend on family essentials. A select group of local vendors was trained to use the system and poised to accept the cryptocurrency payments. On Aug. 14, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake rocked Haitis Tiburon Peninsula, decimating the area.

Hope for Haiti had to delay the project and immediately shifted to disaster relief. The organization received thousands in cryptocurrency donations in short order. Skyler Badenoch, Hope for Haitis CEO, tells Magazine: We probably brought in a hundred grand in crypto to support our earthquake relief efforts. Whether it was $50,000 in Bitcoin from Binance Charity. [..] We were getting Ethereum donated to us. We got $10,000 in Dogecoin donated to us. It came from all over.

 

 

 

 

Just a year earlier, Sandra Uwantege Hart, who at the time was Oxfam Internationals blockchain innovations and cash transfer lead, was preparing to launch a cryptocurrency pilot in the south Pacific Ocean country of Vanuatu. After a successful first effort in the region, Uwantege Hart was hoping to scale Oxfams UnBlocked Cash solution fivefold for this ambitious phase-two project.

Then, just days before launch, Cyclone Harold slammed into the island nation. The category 5 storm decimated parts of the archipelago, an island chain economically dependent on tourism that was already reeling from COVID-19 lockdowns and an active volcanic eruption.

 

 

 

 

Almost overnight, Oxfam and its local partners brought to scale a blockchain lifeline, originally tested with 200 participants and 27 local vendors, to nearly 5,000 households and 357 vendors. They worked with the local chamber of commerce to issue cell phones to merchants and train them on the UnBlocked Cash system. On the ground, a network of about 15 charitable organizations enrolled affected citizens and managed the system. In a conversation with Magazine, Uwantege Hart says that Its almost like the whole idea of a decentralized, distributed model is exactly what worked in terms of how we operated and deployed the system. She adds:

Lets decentralize, lets provide a really good automated tool to deliver assistance and decentralize the way that tool is deployed across multiple organizations in multiple locations concurrently, to make sure that we can scale as quickly as possible.

Uwantege Hart went on to co-found the global technology firm Emerging Impact. Partnering with the Celo Foundation, Kotani Pay and Polish Humanitarian Action, Emerging Impact soon facilitated efforts to integrate DeFi tools into a cash reward program in Kenya. Celo, the donor, built a dashboard to deposit funds directly into Kotani Pay wallets. In the field, Kotani Pay recruited Maasai women to participate in the pilot while Polish Humanitarian Action monitored transparency. According to Uwantege Hart, I cant even tell you how much time that saves.

 

 

 

 

She clarifies further that to make it happen, multiple players from all over came together: “This is between Celo, based in California; Polish Humanitarian Action, based in Poland, with some offices in Somalia; and the implementing partner in rural Kenya, and Maasai women who are building rural infrastructure, building dams to conserve water, so that they can start to increase their agricultural output.

Umoja

The experiences gained and lessons learned in these pilots led to the development of Emerging Impacts Umoja solution, an all-in-one humanitarian assistance suite. One of the first projects to utilize the system was CAREs digital cash and voucher assistance pilot in Ecuador, initiated in September 2021. CARE Ecuadors monitoring coordinator, Ronald Pisco, tells Magazine the pilot provides electronic vouchers and NFC payment cards to 250 women who dont have access to public services.

The participants, primarily migrants and refugees from Venezuela, can use the cards to purchase health services, medicine and hygiene products from 10 participating vendors. The cards are loaded with $50 to $100 in cUSD, with the vendors cashing out and converting the stablecoins into local currency on a weekly or monthly basis.

 

 

 

CARE USAs senior director for market-based approaches, Christian Pennotti, tells Magazine that The end recipients, […] theyre getting handed a card that they can pay for goods and services. [..] They dont have to download a special wallet. They dont need a 17-digit-long key.

Although there can be a high technical barrier to entry into the crypto space, such as access to the internet and cell phones and the need for technological literacy things currently inaccessible to the programs participants Pennotti believes this exchange is pretty straightforward for the women who are participating: On the back end, theres a whole bunch of really incredible things happening. But in her experience, CARE is able to hand her a card, and she gets what she needs.

CARE wanted to test a blockchain-based, easy-to-use, cashless solution to replace an inefficient paper-based voucher system. According to Pisco, it can take weeks to pay back vendors. CARE staff would have to keep track of all the paper vouchers, collect them and send them back to the office. The process is expensive and time-consuming. Uwantege Hart shares that preliminary metrics from the pilot suggest delivery times have been shaved down by more than 50%. Costs have gone down, and ease of monitoring has gone up.

 

 

 

 

Umojas other debut deployment is back on track, as the temporarily delayed Hope for Haiti pilot is currently in progress and recently doubled in size and scope thanks to Coinbase. According to Badenoch, when Coinbase heard about the pilot just after the earthquake, it contributed $150,000. It saw the project as something that would continue to help victims of the earthquake, long after everyone else had gone home.

Badenoch believes that This is the next iteration of our work in our collaboration with important players in the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem. He adds further:

We think that its going to help us tell the story about the value and the power of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology and the ability of crypto and blockchain to help alleviate poverty.

According to Badenoch, Coinbases role in the project is the difference between piloting something that is temporary help and piloting something that actually shifts the way a household economy functions. Hope for Haiti integrated Digicels mobile cash solution into the cash-out process for participating vendors, which means there is a local off-ramp within Haitis financial ecosystem. That is huge. That is the difference between financial inclusion and giving money, according to Uwantege Hart.

 

 

 

 

Financial inclusivity

Uwantege Hart believes that humanitarian aid is ultimately short-term assistance. She says that one of the challenges for all humanitarian agencies is how to responsibly transition people from receiving a bunch of stuff or payments for free into a scenario more focused on recovery, where they are able to connect the assistance received to regular access to goods or services in their everyday lives.

Progression out of poverty, or the risk-prone situation that has exposed them to poverty, is the primary objective. Emerging Impact hopes to eventually segregate wallets, still attaching them to payment cards but also to payment apps and individual savings accounts.

Following that same train of thought, CAREs other crypto pilot worked with village savings and loans associations in western Kenya adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Siaya County, a rural area dependent upon agriculture, CARE asked savings group members what they needed to make them whole. According to Pennotti, they all said they needed more funds to sustain current group businesses or startup funds to facilitate income streams generated from new group businesses.

 

 

 

 

Although nearly 85% of the people CARE works with in Kenya are unbanked and dont have full access to the financial system, many have mobile wallets. Binances Blockchain Charity Foundation funded this project by directly depositing BUSD, a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar, into participants Trust Wallets. The groups then use those funds to purchase goods and services from local vendors.

 

 

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Helen Hai, executive vice president at Binance and head of Binance Charity, tells Magazine, Our pilot project working with CARE and village savings and loans associations was new territory for Binance Charity, but one we found hugely exciting because if successful, it would provide a solution for delivering cash assistance and reaching many financially vulnerable people with a much lower cost compared with traditional methods.

She explains how the process works: All transactions are recorded on the public ledger, which is trackable, immutable and offers 100% transparency to the public. Hai adds:

Our aim was to promote the economic recovery of VSLA members from the impact of COVID-19 and associated vulnerabilities, through the provision of stablecoins offered via blockchain technology. Crypto education was a key part of the success of this project, which meant we were also able to provide a new skill as well as financial assistance.

According to Pennotti, one of the objectives in Kenya was to understand if the tech would work in these communities. Would it be accepted, and what might the benefits be for CARE and for donors?

The other objective was to build institutional awareness around the potential for financial inclusivity. Pennotti was looking for a DeFi project that would help on-ramp these groups to crypto, potentially then taking advantage of staking and other sorts of wealth-generators like yield farming in a way that is accessible. You dont have to understand how it all works, just what the financial benefits are, Pennotti said.

 

 

 

 

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Central Bankers Descend On El Salvador To Learn About Bitcoin And Financial Inclusion

Financial representatives of 44 countries visited El Salvador and saw firsthand how the country’s Bitcoin adoption is changing it for the better.

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Financial representatives of 44 countries visited El Salvador and saw firsthand how the country’s Bitcoin adoption is changing it for the better.

What happened in El Salvador to encourage 44 different countries to send representatives from 32 central banks and 12 other financial institutions? The short answer is that last week the country hosted an economic summit to learn about El Salvador’s strategies and experience in financial inclusion. And while the event was not a Bitcoin-specific gathering, the participants, many of whom hail from countries with similar economies to El Salvador’s, received firsthand exposure to the country’s unique and pioneering Bitcoin journey.

A Bitcoin Summit For The Alliance For Financial Inclusion

Participants in this financial forum are members of the Alliance For Financial Inclusion (AFI), an organization that promotes and develops economic policies that help improve the lives of poor and unbanked populations. In an interview for this article, Mike Peterson from the Bitcoin Beach project, described the organization as the “group of forgotten countries that the economic superpowers often ignore.”

As a member of AFI since 2012, this latest summit El Salvador was hosting the latest rounds of meetings for AFI’s Digital Finance Services Working Group and the Micro, Small, Medium Enterprise Services Working Group. According to El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, on Twitter, the gathering focused on “financial inclusion, digital economy, banking the unbanked, the Bitcoin rollout and its benefits...”

While the event was planned for 2020 and postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AFI finalized the summit’s agenda before El Salvador approved the “Bitcoin Law.” Though before the summit, AFI Policy Programs and Implementation Director Eliki Boletawa recognized El Salvador as the first country to make bitcoin legal tender and balance innovation with “stability, integrity and inclusivity.”

Source

In an interview with the Salvadoran state news media, Banji Milambo, a representative from the Zambian delegation, in reference to the adoption of Bitcoin, said, “It’s a progressive move, it's the evolution of money and the rest of us need to catch up.”

Some Countries Are Not Ready For Bitcoin

As word of the gathering of central bankers and financial institutions spread on social media, many Bitcoiners began to speculate whether this event foreshadowed a large-scale Bitcoin adoption event by nation states.

To address this viral anticipation, Paraguay’s central bank, a participant in the summit, released a statement informing the country’s population that the meetings were not about the adoption of cryptocurrencies. It also reminded Paraguayans that cryptocurrencies could not be legal tender as per its laws, as the central bank does not issue them.

AFI also released a couple of similar statements, one of which reiterated that the adoption of Bitcoin “was particularly relevant to El Salvador and a wonderful opportunity for peer exchange; nonetheless, adoption is not a possibility in the majority of countries.”

AFI members may be learning a lot from this summit, and they may need some reflection time to process their experiences.

“The majority of attendees are not low-level bureaucrats but central bankers and decision makers. Their decisions will impact their home countries,” said Peterson.

It’s worth noting that some of the participants may also be keeping a growing interest in Bitcoin adoption out of the public eye, given that financial institutions like Home Credit, Visa and Mastercard provide funding for AFI.

El Salvador Is A Bitcoin Model To Follow

Only eight months into El Salvador’s official Bitcoin adoption efforts, impatience is a common theme among critics and Bitcoiners alike. However, Bitcoin implementation did not happen overnight, and the summit members are likely unaware of the country’s challenges up to this point.

“Well yes, it's official, we will use Bitcoin.” Source

It’s little known that President Nayib Bukele first talked about adopting Bitcoin back in 2017 while his opposition was blocking him from seeking the presidency. At that time, the electoral authorities threatened to freeze his election campaign funds, which prompted him to assert that El Salvador would use Bitcoin.

While the principles of freedom and unconfiscatable money were at least part of the impetus for adopting Bitcoin in El Salvador, the main value proposition should still be financial inclusivity, as reflected in many aspects of the Bitcoin Law. And to showcase the country's best case study, on the fourth and final day of the summit, the organizers invited AFI members to El Zonte, where they experienced a hands-on workshop on transacting over the Lightning Network.

View the 2 images of this gallery on the original article

Source

“Participants were given $10 worth of bitcoin on their Bitcoin Beach Wallet so they could go buy products and services from local businesses,” said Peterson. According to AFI, this gave participants a first-hand look at how “small and medium-sized enterprises and individuals make use of private digital currencies in their day-to-day lives.”

According to Peterson, there is nothing like experiencing Bitcoin over Lightning firsthand.

“It’s one thing to understand the economics and the technology of Bitcoin, but it’s entirely different to experience transacting with it and how fast it is,” he said. “And it’s important that they see how a Bitcoin circular economy can happen in El Zonte because they can empathize and connect what’s happening here with similar communities in their own countries.”

By many measurements, Bitcoin is a success in El Salvador. AFI members would do well to pay attention as the country has posted a 10.3% GDP increase, increased tourism by 30%, increased export by 15.3% and increased remittances by 4.2%. Even by the International Monetary Fund’s owns standards, it is one of the best countries in Latin America to emerge from the pandemic. It projects a positive GDP growth, and results show less crime and less migration to the United States.

Source

Per Bitcoin Beach’s Twitter account, Peterson hopes that attendees walked away with lightbulb moments when they realize that, through Bitcoin, they can solve their economic problems without much difficulty.

"It all started here, and it's important that they see the place that sparked the world into hyperbitcoinization,” Peterson said.

This is a guest post by Jaime Garcia. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.

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