El Salvador officially adopted Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender, alongside the U.S. dollar, in September last year. At the moment, it is still the only country to have done so but a blockchain expert believes that a number of countries could be adopting BTC as legal tender soon.
According to Ran Neuner, it could happen as early as 2023, which he calls “the year of country adoption of Bitcoin,” Kitco News reported. Neuner is the CEO of OnChain Capital, the co-founder of Crypto Trader, and the founder and host of Crypto Banter.
There are already indications that some countries are starting to consider following El Salvador’s lead. There are talks that Honduras could announce its plan to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender this year while Malaysia’s Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia Zahidi Zainul Abidin reportedly proposed to parliament this week that his country should also make the same move.
El Salvador’s adoption of BTC is making it easier for other countries planning to do the same as they would now know what to expect. “I think the main thing that happened there is that El Salvador fought the battle with the United States, with the IMF…, El Salvador was downgraded by rating agencies when Bitcoin took a plunge,” Neuner told Kitco News editor-in-chief Michelle Makori. “There’s becoming a roadmap for countries that want to adopt Bitcoin.”
He added that the high inflation in the U.S. is making the U.S. dollar less appealing as a reserve currency. “And, given what’s going on right now in the world with rampant inflation, and the U.S. as the reserve currency, I wouldn’t be surprised if next year, 2023, is the year of country adoption of Bitcoin,” Neuner said.
Neuner said that the adoption of BTC by countries could follow after institutional adoption, which is ongoing right now. “We saw retail adoption, the early adopters…now, we’re starting to see institutional adoption of Bitcoin because the infrastructure exists for institutions to adopt Bitcoin,” he said. “Bridgewater’s $150 billion fund is now for the first time dabbling in crypto assets. That was the institutional adoption.
“And I think that next year, 2023, is probably going to be the year of country adoption or nation adoption,” he added. “I think that’s what we’re going to see, multiple dominos fall when that happens.”