Honduras launches “Bitcoin Valley” in the tourist town of Santa Lucia

July 29 (Reuters) – People can pay for a slushie with crypto on the streets of “Bitcoin Valley”, a project in the Honduran tourist enclave of Santa Lucia through which the country entered the digital currency trend .

The small town in the mountains, 20 minutes from the capital Tegucigalpa, has become a bitcoin town.

Business owners large and small in Santa Lucia are adapting to handle cryptocurrencies as payment, hoping to attract more tourists.

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“It will open more opportunities and attract more people who want to use this currency, said Cesar Andino, director of the Los Robles trading place.

The “Bitcoin Valley” project aims for 60 businesses to initially form and adopt cryptocurrencies to market their products and services, hoping to spread these practices to more businesses and nearby areas.

The initiative was jointly developed by the organization Blockchain Honduras, the Guatemalan cryptocurrency exchange consortium Coincaex, the Technological University of Honduras and the municipality of Santa Lucia.

Ruben Carbajal Velazquez, professor at the Technological University, said that “the community of Santa Lucia will be trained in the use and management of cryptocurrencies, implementing them in different businesses in the region and generating crypto-tourism“.

As some Latin American countries explore the potential of cryptocurrencies, there are risks.

In September 2021, El Salvador adopted bitcoin as legal tender having its own ‘Bitcoin Beach’ in the surf town of El Zonte. Read more

The Central American country’s bitcoin bet has been hampered by the crypto market downturn and skepticism from multilateral lenders and rating agencies. His publicly disclosed holdings of $105 million are now worth around $57 million.

To cope with volatility, the Honduran “Bitcoin Valley” will “allow merchants to receive instant payments in the local currency, eliminating the risks of cryptocurrency fluctuation,” said Leonardo Paguada, founder of the Block Chain organization. Honduras.

Critics of bitcoin expansion have warned that such operations could fuel money laundering and financial instability while widening the digital divide as poorer sections of society may struggle to access to technology.

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Reporting by Rodolfo Penaroja and Aida Pelaez-Fernandez; Editing by David Gregorio

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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