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El Salvador’s newly launched Bitcoin “Freedom Visa” is reportedly near capacity and is expected to sell out before the end of 2023.
El Salvador recently launched a citizenship-by-investment program that grants residency to 1,000 people willing to invest $1 million in Bitcoin or Tether (USDT). The “Adopting El Salvador Freedom Visa Program” was announced on December 7 by the government in partnership with stablecoin issuer Tether.
Tether Powers El Salvador’s Visa Program
In partnership with stablecoin issuer Tether, the government of El Salvador launched the “Adopting El Salvador Freedom Visa Program.” Akin to a “golden visa”, this program offers 1,000 citizenships to investors who pledge $1 million in Bitcoin or USDT investment.
According to the announcement:
“By participating in establishing El Salvador as a dynamic global center for cutting-edge technology and financial innovation, individuals become integral partners in steering a nation toward exceptional growth and evolution and offer a path to obtain a Salvadoran Passport. Eligibility for the program prioritizes visionary individuals, including high-net-worth investors, who aspire to contribute significantly to societal progress.”
The program has gained momentum, and the El Salvador National Bitcoin Office (ONBTC) said it received many applications and expects the program to be full before the end of 2023.
The application process is simple. The program requires a non-refundable deposit of $999 in BTC or USDT, and all applicants must pass know-your-customer (KYC) procedures. The deposit will be credited toward the $1 million in BTC or USDT investment requirement if the application is accepted. According to the announcement, families may apply collectively.
Tether’s CEO, Paolo Ardoino, commented on the company’s involvement in this initiative:
“This initiative highlights our commitment to supporting cities and communities in their pursuit of financial freedom and innovation. It represents a unique opportunity for us to utilize our technological capabilities to foster growth and innovation in the region. Being chosen as the tech provider underscores the importance of robust infrastructure in driving meaningful change. This partnership reinforces our dedication to advancing technology, empowering nations, and enabling individuals to invest in a future where innovation and progress go hand in hand.”
Bitcoin Bet Pays Off
El Salvador became the first sovereign nation to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender in 2021 to help it cope with its mounting debt. Following Bitcoin’s recent rally, President Nayib Bukele revealed that El Salvador’s Bitcoin holdings have become profitable.
The country made a significant move this week when it announced the world’s first-ever Bitcoin Bond received regulatory approval. The Bitcoin Bonds, known colloquially as “Volcano Bonds”, is expected to launch by the first quarter of next year. Initially introduced in March 2022, the concept was introduced to address El Salvador’s mounting sovereign debt and to finance its “Bitcoin City” project. The Volcano Bonds aim to raise $1 billion, and funds will be allocated to fostering a Bitcoin mining industry powered by renewable energy, including power harnessed from the country’s active volcanoes.
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