SLP434 Adopting Bitcoin '22 & Should you Escape to El Salvador? with Jeremy - Transcripts

November 24, 2022

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Jeremy of Escape to El Salvador joins me on the show to talk about his insights on the ground in El Salvador. We discuss:

  • Why and how some bitcoiners and expats are moving to El Salvador
  • Thoughts on the recent Adopting Bitcoin conference
  • Creature comforts in El Salvador
  • Living on Bitcoin in El Salvador
  • Getting residency or setting up a business
  • Tips for anyone visiting El Salvador


  • Twitter: @ElSalvadorVisas
  • Website:
  • Jeremy’s Adopting Bitcoin talk

Other relevant episodes:

  • SLP305 El Salvador Bitcoin Law On The Ground with Aaron van Wirdum
  • SLP279 Michael Peterson and Nicolas Burtey - Bitcoin Beach: Citadel By The Sea in El Zonte, El Salvador
  • SLP381 John Dennehy & Gloriana Solano - Bitcoin Diploma in El Salvador


  • Swan Bitcoin
  • Unchained Capital (code LIVERA)

Stephan Livera links:

  • Follow me on Twitter @stephanlivera
  • Subscribe to the podcast
  • Patreon @stephanlivera



is the phone with Arafat Gaza show about bit coin and Austrian economics have you wanted about what it's like escaping to El Salvador this episode explores this question further now if you're thinking about the holiday season and gifting consider this one this one is a sponsor of the show and swana making it easy to give to bit coin to your friends and family while also giving them the benefit of bit coin education at the same time the website is one dot com slash gift you can easily gift S. certain amounts in fiats that you to nominate and you provide and then you'll family member or friend can pick up that gift to sign up and then converts that fiat into bitcoin and at the same time they are getting the benefit of swans world class customer service and education many people are commenting on the vibe at the recent Pacific bitcoin conference and this one team really worked hard to put that on and provide an excellent experience and this is the same kind of quality that you can expect when you are gifting bit coin to your friends while also giving them an easy pathway to onboard into bit coins that's S. one dot com slash gift now if you are transacting recently you might have seen that bit coins man pulls the nodes around the network where pretty full the default ones mental dot space is a bit coin and blockchain explorer that you can use to view the man pulled the blockchain and second layer networks like liquid or lightning now with mental dot space you can see and search your transaction ID and check where it is roughly intensive projected blocks and see if it has been confirmed or not now of course you can use mental dot space self hosted and do this in a way that preserves your own privacy then pulled out space is a fantastic tool whether you are using it to target the fee for your transactions or to search your transactions or to explore and use the lightning network Explora now I feel with an enterprise mental dot space office customized mental instances with your company is branding you get increased API limits and more level at mental dot space slash enterprise if you are in the market for big coin hardware devices clean cut dot com is the place to go they offer a range of products such as the cold caught at Mach for my personal favorite hardware at signing device it has all the bells and whistles it's got and it's a support it's got more ram and CPU for foster signing of transactions it's a really reliable performer now if you need something a little bit cheaper out there is the top side of this is a cheap device what cheaper device around forty four dollars and you can use NFC to top and signed with you'll find with wallets such as non Chuck now clean cut are offering some deals as well if you are listening now you can check out black bit coin Black Friday which is the offering of cheap deals coming up soon so make sure to check that out otherwise go to the website clin kait dot com and if you are ordering some cold cots rather give yourself he's got live there and get a discount on your called gods and think not just for yourself but also if you have family and friends to you while helping on board it might be useful to have some extra hardware devices to help them when they're ready so that was not clean cuts dot com said just some background on this episode I was recently in El Salvador full adopting bit coin and I had the chance to meet Jeremy all the scape to el Salvador and I thought this would be a really good episode to give you some context on what is actually like in el Salvador what's the response from people on the ground what is it like for them spending bitcoin living on bit coin this episode will give you some answers so here is my conversation with Jeremy Jeremy welcome to the show

thank you for having me

the Jeremy I was impressed with my recent visit to all Salvadoran I saw your talk at at adapting bit coin and want to get you on the show because I think a lot of my listeners will be interested to hear from you and just to understand a little bit on the ground what is it really like that so as you can tell us a little bit of your background and how you ended up in El Salvador

sure so I've been in the bitcoin space for a while and had been contributing to some open source projects and doing a bit coin help desk in the U. S. but a few years ago I started seeing the writing on the wall and I realize that the US was in a place that I wanted to be anymore so I can it's my family to to leave and we've been traveling we spend a lot of time in Eastern Europe and right around the same time that the covert panic was really starting to to set in and Eastern Europe they were sort of behind the curve I guess the big point law was being passed in El Salvador so it was a no brainer for us to to move here and and be set up and we're all male residents and we're working towards our citizenship and I had to become a subject matter expert in the residency process in the business creation process and it made sense to open that up for other people as well

fantastic so let's talk a bit high level about El Salvador because I think these are the questions people have on their mind right so some people are saying these questions like all okay and what maybe what would dig into these individually but some of the high level ones all of their gangs there is president become lazy a dictator you know it's the spying on the opposition easy rigging the Supreme Court is the violating term limits so these I'm show you probably hate these is probably commonly asked questions that you probably have to deal with so let's deal with some of those so let's start at the beginning of a gangs is their big gang presence in El Salvador today as we speak in November twenty twenty two

what not anymore obviously there used to be el Salvador was a very violent place we had a lot of murders we had a high homicide rate mostly it was gang on gang violence but all the gang members are incarcerated now and we're actually on track to wrap up twenty twenty two with a homicide rate of just shy of ten per every hundred thousand to give you a sense of perspective there that's like the homicide rate in Austin Texas and there are just numerous cities in the United States that are that are far more dangerous I'll I'll go ahead and list them because I did the research this morning but Los Angeles Miami Portland Atlanta by the way Atlanta has triple the homicide rate of El Salvador and most people wouldn't bat an eye before visiting there so I think it'll take a while for the perception to catch up with reality but it's very safe here

and at the end so the high level question why people believe that let's say despite his high approval rating that somehow president Mikhail is doing things that seem like a dictator would doing things in an improper way do you have any comment for listeners who well outside of several

yeah I mean there there couple things let's not strip away the agency of the the Salvadoran population right for them to to feel that they are you know supporting president the Kelly is is a very strong signal to to make by the way that these these polls that we're talking about they're not from inside el Salvador these are like Gallup polls the user polls from international agencies agencies that one might even think had a had a reason to to make the number lower than it actually is right so for the fact that it's so high they really should tell you something and don't just be you know a dismissive of the average Salvadoran opinion and think that they're not educated or or they don't know what's going on the average Salvadoran is very clued in to the politics that are happening here locally so when you see numbers like that you know that there is that there's really something behind the

fantastic and so to the specific questions I don't I don't know how much in the day tell you that some of that charges let's say against president Mikhail things like that he is reading the courts or into any and do you have any idea what's that perception of what's the reality that

yeah so I mean the perception is people will say dictator or tyrant or autocrats are all of these things but I think it's important to note that words have meanings for a reason all of these terms would describe a person who acts outside of the law or who disregards human rights or you know is obviously corrupt but when we so we're we're really presented with the question does present the Kelly display these characteristics and the obvious answer is no but I'll give you a more nuanced reply because your your listeners may not be you know up to date on the current politics everything that has happened has happened within a legislative process right El Salvador is a constitutional Republic and like many other countries it has a separation of powers between the legislative and executive and judicial branches everybody has checks and balances and there's a process that that has to happen in order for for example judges to be replaced and the judges that were replaced were replaced according to the the the letter and the spirit of the law so everything that has been done up to this point has been completely congruent with el Salvador's traditions and el Salvador's respecting the rule of law

excellent and I'm wondering if you have any comment on the supposedly violating town limits argument

yeah so I'm actually not what I would consider considering a constitutional expert there is a gentleman on Twitter I think that we might actually both follow his name is Hyman Garcia and he spoke with one of the original architects of the the constitution one of the guys that wrote it back in and was part of the process in the late eighties and early nineties and he interviewed him specifically on this issue and the architect basically laid out what the letter of the law means and it's designed to prevent people from having back to back terms with no separation between and so in order to comply with the law it's widely expected that present the Kelly will resign his position for some months prior to running again for election

I see understood yeah and I think also people will be interested just to hear a little bit about the recent conference so you and I with that recently for adopting big goin to this is just recently off the top my head around fifteenth of November and so yeah let's talk a little bit about what the feeling was like at the conference and if you have any particular highlights

I think it was a very optimistic feeling I think that a lot of people came because they were truly convinced of the mission that we have here and I think that's probably true for any conference that occurs and sort of the the bottom of the bear market right whenever the prices really really down the folks that show up or the hard core supporters the people who understand the the sort of the foundation the fundamentals of the technology and know that it's going to succeed regardless of the current price movements so in that regard the conference had a very high signal to noise ratio if you will and so my key take away was the number of people who showed up despite the overwhelming circumstances from from the perspective of the markets and just the challenges of traveling to a developing country that that that they did show up and they did present really interesting ideas there's more development going on in the space now then I think there ever has been and it's really hard to keep up I mean we had seven different presentation areas and they were just going back to back so that gives you an idea of even in El Salvador even in a place that's relatively difficult for for people to get to or it's not exactly on the way from you know point a to point B. they still showed up and we still had that much activity and optimism and that that's my takeaway I was really impressed by that

you know and one of the thing all night even for mine experience I Seoul that the focus was also about various bitcoin communities right because bitcoin beach obviously inspired all of these other projects right like bitcoin lake and it's going to cost see in South Africa and I I mean I I probably I'll do it injustice than any remembering all the different communities that are out there there was someone from big pine island in the Philippines also so I think that was definitely a focus that I noticed in this conference is that you know obviously they're different conferences with a different focus and you know that they've all got their place right so obviously I work it's one that we had Pacific declined just the week before and so that was also fantastic experience and it was an American bitcoin St of trophies reasons being based in being the conference being in LA and so similar challenges well being bear market fast time first time conference the Pacific beat going with adopting Macklin this was the second year and yeah I think it was a great experience I also want to just highlight a little bit one thing that was really cool is that they had really worked on the idea of having a lightning native just almost everywhere in and around the conference so I'll just share click to view examples from my side and you can obviously add anything you you want to share also but for example you can get in touch with them you know bit driver contact a taxi driver is online I who were willing to do the airport trip airport to the hotel trip and you can obviously pay them with that going into that you have a wallet we had various merchants death so for example some of them were being powered by the bitcoin beach wallet and you could pay lightning obviously and then even the hotel the conference was at their entire POS system was being backed by D. backs mascot is lighting system and then another system again is just you know people who are just using their own individual men wallet all bitfinex pale whatever all the set up that they had and so whatever you know approach there was people where you know there was this lightning fast feel to it all so I thought that was really cool and so you know it's just a really cool thing to say that it's really lightning native it's obviously I've got a few videos up there where I show a few examples just so people can get a sense of what it's like but yeah any anything else you want to add from hillside around the the feel of the conference

I would just say that it highlights the maturity of the lightning network and the capabilities you know obviously for an entire year now we've been rolling out these capabilities within the the country of El Salvador and individuals have had the chance to really play with them so for the for the conference attendees it was an opportunity to to kind of have that same experience to to feel what it's like to be on the ground and and making these kinds of transactions with this type of technology and to see the the different development in the space right there were so many different wallets on display in so many different approaches that you really had a chance to to understand that the big point isn't just one thing it is in a centralized situation right it's it's obviously it's this big group of different people doing different things and that kind of energy I think it's something that everybody walked away with

and testing so yeah I think the other point to add is that you know it's not all roses right there are obviously challenges on the way but to me I got the a sense that things were broadly improving over time that more technology was that there was more it option in the ways that made it easy to use bitcoin now that's not to say that every single shop in every single restaurant in El Salvador accepts bitcoin that's not the case you still have to sort of search for it a little bit intensive which exact stores but for example I was able to go to Starbucks and I've got an E. backs pay back set up you know I you know they have McDonald's and Wendy's and some of these other big chains that are using bitcoin a lightning of course around bitcoin beach many of the restaurants and hotels and vandals that they take lightning and they often using bitcoin beach well it so you know that there are few things that you have to maybe know who to also know where to go but once you know those things and if you're a big winner is relatively easy to figure those things out then you can for the most part live on big point I like N. and spends and live on big point is that the I I presume that's kind of mirrored in your experience living in El Salvador

absolutely it's certainly the way that I live and if I had the opportunity I would try to reframe the question a little bit because many people ask about the adoption of of bit coin in El Salvador and I would I would start by saying this it's been famously stated that bitcoin is for anyone not for everyone and I think that that is a deep and powerful statement and we can understand adoption here through that lands in a more meaningful way because a lot of critics will use just the sheer number of merchants who accept bitcoin as some sort of metric of success but I think that's misleading I would rather ask the question who is being prevented from accepting bitcoin because in many countries there are huge chunks of the economy in the end the the business and the government environment where you cannot transact in in bitcoin either by default or by actual law by actual to create some some entire countries are are are like this but in El Salvador no one is prevented from using bit coin and in fact everybody's encouraged to use bit coin and despite claims to the contrary no one is being forced to use bitcoin right so I personally believe that adoption and using something like this technology it has to be a choice made by one's own volition one's own will you have to choose to embrace sovereignty for yourself it can't be forced on you right so I'm actually really encouraged by the level of adoption because there are more people per capita here that have made that choice for summer T. than any other country in the world by far and that's only one year into to our little experiment writes no longer an experiment it's a real thing that everybody is is living and and and breathing and so all you have to do is just take your experience from from the conference over the last week or so and then extrapolate out what looks what what what does it look like in two years what does it look like in five years and ten years and you can absolutely see that this country will earn the title bitcoin country far more quickly than any other place that I'm aware of

and I think that's a great point to make and I also recall hearing a point from my page isn't a big fan page he was commenting that people have this crazy expectation that somehow it should have gone from zero to one hundred percent adoption of a night and so they think that even twenty of twenty five percent option is a failure when in reality we know even today there are probably so there are so many people who don't even use credit cards right and so is the fiat system con get credit cards adopted in fifty years how is it a fair expectations I off the one year that bitcoin should be at a hundred percent I mean it's you know it comes to this question around false narratives so let's say double standards they they kind of they expect more from big point than they do from a fiat system all from alternative systems

yeah and I mean just imagine the the the flip side of that you know question is take take a place that you can imagine that's very tech forward like Silicon Valley or San Francisco or something like that and give them a year or two will fully adopt bitcoin for themselves and then see you know to what extent it's adopted it will be twenty five percent I assure you you could probably hold a gun to people's head and not get twenty five percent and places like that and and you know really what you can look at is the IT major advances and and advantages that they would have over a country like El Salvador to do it so you know for anyone who looks at where we're at now in fines that disappointing in any way I would just say that they they can they have the wrong they're they're looking at things the wrong way

yeah and I one of the point I wanted to make just while we're here I think listeners will be interested is this the pressure it's gone cold me prima bit coin now I didn't really upset about this and that while a bunch of us were in town they asked us to come and present or not present it to be there at their graduation so this is a school and these kids are young and they're learning about bit coin and we were being there couldn't quit verifies and so basically we would help them walk through setting up a moon wallet and also blockstream green and said they would recover the coins using blockchain grain and then send them into moon wallet and that's part of that I guess graduation from their weeks of study and so you can think you know where yeah no where else in the world are they literally trying to teach the high school kids I mean okay maybe there are a few places in the world but this is being done as an actual program and the other the hope is that this get then gets replicated out to all the schools in the region

yeah I know it certainly will be I mean the the plans are in place and and you know I don't know what anybody has been able to to release publicly or not but but that's obviously the goal

yep so can you give us maybe a high level intensive bit coin is moving to el Salvador I can you tell us if the if there any interesting stories are interesting examples of bitcoin is who has made that move and what they're finding you know how they're finding it so far

yeah I I have to be a little cautious obviously I'm very respectful of the privacy of our clients and so I won't use examples that they could be identifying but what I will say is that the thing that surprised me is that we didn't get an initially a lot of people who were in a in a and no one even couch this term a little bit that weren't necessarily tech savvy like in in other words they work big corners from the sense of being software developers or you know being contributors in the space these were just normal people who felt like their freedoms were being infringed upon in the countries that they were coming from they were they weren't necessarily going to a place they were leaving from a place and it just so happened that when they did their research el Salvador seem like a great place and so they may have been exposed to bit coin they may have understood bitcoin on on it at very least a superficial level but I wouldn't say that that was sort of a a core aspect of what motivated them they were really more interested in living in a place where they felt like they could achieve some sort of freedom and liberty the bitcoin piece was an enabling factor it was a technology that made it possible for them to for example bring their wealth with them in a way that they they didn't have to ask permission from you know the legacy financial system so in that way you know the coin was a tool that they were using but their primary motivation is to come here and live as free people in an optimistic place where they feel like they can have a better future for themselves and and for their children and so the people that have come here are just normal people with normal jobs you know we've got to meet people who are plumbers people who do you know testing for for mold in the air we've got people who've reached out for us for for just you know all sorts of random little things that you would expect but the common thread is some level of appreciation for bitcoin but more a core appreciation for liberty

that's really cool in here and I think because we can be insular in certain aspects of our community and think all yeah only the people who like really hard core debate going right and go S. even from that community they're probably again I went docks individuals but I picked up a sentiment that they were a bit coin is too interested to move tells of it all and I can share some of that motivation I don't think this is you know these people mind but in in one individual's case again I went docks and but they were feeling like they don't want to feel like a criminal for using bit coin and so I think that's something where in all the countries of the world bank's not shut you down if they might look at all Hey what was this transit all that was declined your account is frozen all stopped all canceled and the sense is in El Salvador will you really can use N. live natively with big point and so therefore you don't feel like a criminal even if you don't you don't made to feel like a criminal even if you actually want a criminal

right and I think that that's something that's just in the zeitgeist now I mean you you you see you know Kanye west posting about being unable to access his money and he's a multi billionaire and and talking about how well it can happen to me it can happen to anybody and I think the more people are starting to understand exactly how small the boxes that they've been put in by the legacy financial system and there's an old saying from someone that you don't really feel your chains until you try to move right and so people now are starting to to and ask the question you know what happens if I want to go to another country what happens if I want to donate to these truckers what happens if I want to you know exercise my own financial autonomy and decide what I do with my money what happens well they're running up against these sort of invisible walls that they didn't realize were there before but have always been there and now they're starting to ask a question how do I get out of that situation and where can I go where I don't feel trapped in in that way and there is an obvious choice and that's also good or

excellent so I think we spoke a little bit about some of the feeling of what it's like in El Salvador maybe if you could do it we can zoom out a little bit step back a little bit and think about high level Hey doesn't make sense for like who should as is your name and escaped all Salvador they should think about doing this

anyone who is it if over the course of the last couple of years if you have had any misgivings about the direction that our society is headed whether that's because of the lockdowns whether that's because of censorship whether that's because of you know restrictions on on how much you can use your electricity or your gas or just the basic things that I guess we all took for granted if you have felt any misgivings about that in the last couple of years you at least owe it to yourself to explore what it looks like to have a second residency or an alternative location where you can go to if you don't feel safe or free in the place where you where you live so having options is a big deal I personally would love to sell everybody on the idea it's all south or I think that the more people that move here and and help us join our growing expecting unity is just gonna be better for everyone but at the very least think of an option even if it's not this option so if you're concerned about your liberty if you're concerned about your freedom of movement if you don't want to end up in a place where you're locked down where you thought you were free before but you realized over the last couple years that maybe that's not exactly true then this is absolutely free

yeah and I think a lot of Clinton's might do that calculation for themselves and say Hey you know what this might be worth my while whether they are let's say they currently are in a regime with capital gains tax and they want to move to El Salvador and be free of that of course there are it's it's not as simple as that you have said there may be certain steps you have to take to do that I actually I was thinking about it even to myself I mean to be honest it's up to me in the short term but I I would I could sort of see a case where it may be in the medium along the time that I think for me it might it's maybe not the right decision given my family my situation but I think for a lot of people it could make sense and so that's why I wanted to you know obviously chat with you in here a little bit from you so could you outline for us some of the the pop weighs in at a high level and there are many and so actually said listen is I will link to to Jeremy's talks are from the conference he's got a right talks all once if that's up I'll put the link to that but if you could give us a high level understanding what are some of the population

sure so what I tell people usually is set bitcoin aside for the moment if you were to think about moving to any other country you would expect that they would have residency programs for a variety of different races right like people talk about having a student visa and going to the United States to go to college or they might have a work visa to go into Germany to send money back to their their family somewhere else or what so el Salvador has all of those different residency programs like every other country does as well one of the more popular ones is our independent worker visa and that allows for people like digital nomads folks who can do their work remotely they can come in they can live here full time part time virtually they can work abroad and when they do that they don't have any taxation on their income right so you don't owe any taxes to El Salvador as a result of that as long as your income comes from abroad right that's a really important point so you can be a digital nomad you can be a retiree if you're from the U. S. are from Canada you're a little bit older maybe you have a pension if your pension is like a thousand US dollars a month then you can qualify for a retiree visa in El Salvador so you don't even have to have a really big pension you just have to be able to support yourself on a very basic level and and you can enjoy that people come here for all sorts of reasons people come a lot of people come here as missionaries from the church so you know you need forms from your church talking about what kind of good work you want to do and how you're going to support yourself but that can beat the justifications for your for your residency application as well so there are a lot of different ways to approach the the the challenge and then obviously just last night it was released to that the the proposed laws for the digital assets the digital securities law and all south or has been sent over to the assembly I haven't had a chance yet this morning to review them my attorneys are taking a look at that and we'll be creating a strategy around that but essentially it's creating a an additional residency option for people who want to invest in the volcano bonds and our energy backed bonds so that's just one more way that you can get residency and ultimately citizenship and also

great incidents these different pathways and what about the case as a business so to set up a business there

yeah so you can set up a Salvadoran corporation it's it's basically like in the United States you would call it a limited liability corporation and their variations of that you know and and most advanced countries so we have that concept as well and you can use that corporation to work right now in El Salvador you can also use it to transition into the bitcoin city special economic zone as soon as that's announced and we have more details around that like I said the bill was just submitted but we expect that to pass by the end of the year and so over the course of the next few weeks will have more specific information but a Salvadoran corporation allows you to have those same benefits and share the equity among other folks as well and so if you're interested in toying with the idea of issuing equity on on liquid for example if you want to issue tokens that represent your equity and raise funds around the world frictional flea you have the opportunity to do that in a legal way here in El Salvador where you might not have that option and a lot of other countries

after the show in a moment blockstream green is an industry leading bit coin and liquid while it it has access to powerful features such as multi signature security you can set it up with your own full node and you can use toll support looks in green was even used in the recent me Primat bit coin series of education and testing for el Salvadoran students and I was actually but is betting that blockchain green was how they were covering their bitcoin wallet so look for him green is a really reliable tool hit you can secure your wallet with the multi signature shield way that you can hold one key on your device and another a blockstream service and time locks are set back up K. ensure you always retain full ownership of your funds now blockchain green also has integrations with hardware wallets such as blockstream jade ledger and trezor so it is available for iOS android or desktop you can get it I read blockchain dot com slash green Unchained capital is making it easy for you to secure your clients with multi signature so this is particularly useful for those of you who want to use a multi signature for your cold stacked a big stack now with the recent news of crypto companies blowing Oppel going bankrupt all going through financial difficulties now is the time to really think about self custody and take it seriously sident leave coins on someone else's platform to and think okay I just want the convenience no it's time to actually think about self custody and Unchained capital is making it easy for you they are helping you remove single points of failure in your set up and this set up when done correctly does not even require you to be reliant on on chain capital you can spend on your own on Jan can help you with this set up they've got a concierge onboarding programs if you're interested you can go to the website it's on change dot com slash concierge and pick up the program then he's got live era for discounts and now back to the show with Jeremy excellent and could you tell us a little bit right now I don't know maybe there's not a lot of detail on this yet but in terms of the big queen city registration all social design do you know if it's possible to apply into that case or is it more like you need to set something up and then try in addition into the bitcoin city

yeah so that's what I'm recommending right now we have to realize that what we're talking about is building an entire city where there's nothing but jungle right now it's not going to be built overnight there are a lot of other big projects that need to happen first for example we have an airport that's under development right now in the eastern part of the country that's going to serve as a as a hub for the queen city we also have the train of the Pacific that's being developed and it's going to eventually connect Panama City all the way through into Chiapas Mexico so it's going to really bring the region together and connect all the capital cities so those big projects along with the development of the deepwater port in la union those are sort of necessary prerequisites for the city to to truly be built and so we have to think in terms of you know of a longer time horizon I expected that by the end of this next year we will have actual roads and infrastructure being built out and and probably the the first foundations of buildings but it may be twenty twenty four and twenty twenty size before some of those areas are are livable and and where you can actually start to engage in your business sort of physically but you can do so virtually right now and that's usually what I recommend is be ahead of the curve if you have the opportunity to come and see the location in person before hand that's probably a really great idea because there are a ton there's tons of great deals lots of opportunity if you want to sort of camp out and see what the actual parcels are in between for example you know in between the the airport pick one city there's just going to be a ton of opportunity to develop out commercial space so come here and see if you can but if not certainly reach out and you can start getting you can start the ball rolling virtually at this point

and in terms of tax rates so I'm chill people out there comparing tax rates around the world and they may be thinking okay well what's the right email several what's right in other jurisdictions so I only had a quick look online bill it pays to me that the individual tax rate is thirty percent of the corporate rate is thirty percent so how's that gonna work and how does that let's say a stock up and compare with the other options out there

right so that's absolutely true but I understand that that is related to income that is derived from inside the country because we have a territorial taxation system income that you get from abroad has zero tax liability so whether you're an individual or or corporate entity you can continue to operate overseas without incurring tax liability and then inside the country we have a progressive taxation system for individuals it'll start at ten percent above a certain level and it slowly increase to thirty percent but again that's for income derived from El Salvador and sources and as long as you're not pulling income from the sources you don't have that tax liability and then eventually in bitcoin city once you have the ability to legally domiciled there and will be one of the first to to set that up then you won't have to worry about those those textures at all because within the the special economic zone no taxes on income no taxes on on property that's nationwide to no taxes on payroll so you'll be able to set up your company and hire workers not only in El Salvador but around the world and not have to incur payroll taxes as a result of that not have capital gains taxes and that's not just on bit coin that's on everything that you can invest in and then there are also no state taxes as well so from a standpoint of planning for your generational wealth and and and being able to to to hand down your wealth to your heirs el Salvador's one of the best best places for you to to set up the stress because of that aspect

yeah I'm with the territorial tax regime pot I think that pot again I'm not an expert but as I have read all understood in other regimes it does focus on aspects well again it depends on what the lord is but from what I've heard another regimes it doesn't matter where the work is being done so in some cases if it's territorial tax but if you're working in that country then the income producing activity is being done in that country and then they're full in that income can be caught in aside let's say the tax net of that country some curious your thought on that or do you do you know if that applies in El Salvador or like a as an example let's say you are doing you are a freelancer doing some contracting work and yes still source of income is from outside the country but if you are doing the web from inside the country then does that create enough of that connection that such that your income is then taxed inside also it'll

right so the right now the laws are dynamic and the bill has just been submitted to the assembly and there's going to be some debate around that and we'll know a little bit more specifically what the plans are going down the road for bitcoin city as far as it relates to the country right now there there is not that requirement so you don't have the test that you're talking about is like sort of the official seat of management or the actual role of the decision making authority and how the income is derived but that doesn't exist in El Salvador

okay great so I mean that's actually even better than I was thinking I'm so that's actually cool

it's a no brainer for here

right okay and so can you walk us through I mean obviously they're probably I think as you outlined in your talk like seventeen different ways you can do this but could you just outlined rough costs to do this like maybe as an individual and yeah let's not as an individual what's kind of the rough cost maybe the what's the rough cost for a family

short so it can be as cheap as you wanted to be I know this guy and and I don't want to knock some but those of us around here no I mean he came here and he lives and he he lived in a hammock on the volcano you know I mean so you can come into this like real low rent if you want and nobody bothered him he had a great time in fact he he eventually leveled up and he started buying some of those masonry bricks and he built himself a little house to

to live in

which is it's fantastic you like to see that so you can come here on what I would call you know the very budget a very a very tight budget but then you can also spend as much as you want as well right so for escaped all Salvador we process individual residency applications for less than three thousand dollars and for the average family it's around four thousand dollars and the rates change because of the attorneys that we work with those are the the main drivers of cost and it's one of those basic approaches like most people will use an attorney for example let's say maybe if they get divorced or if they wanna you know write up a business contract or whatever and you can certainly go and find the least expensive attorney you can possibly find but there are many reasons why you might not want to do that if you think that hiring a professional is expensive

just wait until you hire

an amateur

yeah and I think that's a fair point also but yeah just to give people a rough idea of what what are they helpful if they want you know a quality professional to handle their work or to help them at least that is some of it in some cases it might be like a convenience aspect right so maybe there are cases where look you could actually go fill out the forms of self and yeah do you do call because that way but the reality is you know people us scare us on time and expertise and I would rather pay somebody to help them so and in terms of the setting up a business or corporation what kind of like rough cost ranges are we working with them

so it's about the same there are some additional requirements for El Salvador corporations that you might not expect from from setting up a business in other places you have to maintain a share capital and that's going to be dependent on the size of your business but the minimum is currently two thousand US dollars and that has to be set aside into a either a bank account or can be sitting in a U. T. X. so so you can do this in a completely bit coin fashion but there are certain reasons why you might not want to do that the way that the law as currently worded the U. T. XO itself becomes the sort of the security and you're not able to treat it like the value of of the bit coin as it rises and falls you might have to leave the the the U. tex alone and so that might be great if you're planning long term but there are reasons to hold it and and and a dollar denominated accounts as well so everybody is gonna have a slightly different approach that

I see what about setting up banking is that difficult like I've heard in different regimes around the world banking can be difficult I mean and that's not just a big point thing that can just be like a general thing but I'm curious if you have any insight to chef listen is there on banking

well look banks suck all over the world there's there's no like holy land where banks work really well for people right and so I would just say that banks here are equally terrible as as what you've experienced elsewhere if you're looking to open a personal account you have to be a resident so you have to at least have your temporary residency but the corporation that you create you can be one hundred percent foreign owned and it can have a bank account so you can have exposure to the legacy financial system and still be completely remote

yeah okay and so any thoughts on the timing said the other aspect that you can hear is sometimes they can take a long time to set up you'll residency permit or your business can you give us a rough idea of how long it takes to do this process

yeah that that varies widely but but here are the major factors right so everybody needs to have a couple of basic documents in order to start their process let's talk about residency first and then we'll talk about corporate formation so from the residency perspective as long as you have your passport and your passport has enough validity remaining then you're okay with that and then adults are going to need a background check and children are going to need birth certificates these must be issued very recently they must be stilled or authenticated and that's a legal process that you have to go through with your country of origin and that can take a long time depending on your country there are a lot of places that people are trying to high tail it out of right now because they just don't like the feeling of living there anymore and so places like Canada the RCMP background check process is backed up for months because so many people are requesting them and trying to get residency abroad the same thing is happening in a lot of countries and in Europe there the clerks that work at their apple still office have never seen so many applications and that's you know first hand reports that I'm hearing so first get the paperwork and that's the the basic requirement and then once we receive those pieces of paper then within about two weeks we can prepare your application to get submitted to immigration and then it takes a process of about forty five days for immigration to review your file and issue a finding in your case so one of the things that's so good to know though is as soon as you submit your application you get an automatic ninety day extension on your tourist visa so you don't have to worry about you know running out of time or having to do a border run or anything like that so you could come here get your ninety days which most people get and on day eighty nine you submit that application and you get a prompt for another ninety days while they review it and then once you get your card you can come and go as you please as a as a resident for the length of time that that's been established no on the corporation the formation of a of a corporate entity that process can take roughly the same amount of time maybe a little bit longer we typically quote sixty to seventy days for the entire process to go through but one of the challenges that we have there is that we really need you to be in the country to at least make some signatures so we can't completely do a remote set up as a corporation there there are some hoops that we have to jump through but once we can start that process you can then leaves and then from that point on the ownership of the corporation can be completely foreign and then you can use it for a variety of different things down the road more happy to chat about that as well


and so

let's chat a little bit about just L. seven alive or even sense of it all right so if you could


outline a little bit for people who are having pain what's it like living in let's say San Salvador intensive creature comforts that are available for them amenities things like this

yeah I mean I would say that this is a a normal city I mean it there are plenty of modern buildings I happen to live in one the infrastructure is is decent I mean you would always like roads to be better and people can say that you know roads and also offered or terrible but you know I've driven through Mississippi and roads they're pretty terrible as well so it's not necessarily a developing country phenomenon exclusively and then you know there are a lot of things that that people might not expect like there a lot of trendy restaurants and bars that cater to to folks from all over the world there are restaurants from from just about every country that you can think of and one of the the bad things that has a a decent outside is is traffic is terrible right during the morning rush hour during afternoon rush hour the city grew too quickly and it doesn't have the right layout for its for its roots but the flip side of that is it overs are extraordinarily cheap and you can get to the other side of the city for three Bucks and that's true with all the different ride sharing apps I just use over as a sort of generic term and we do know that traffic is an issue and there are plans to build an elevated tram so we'll have an L. just like Chicago hopefully over the course of the next several years

awesome and so intensive becoming at community what the like that I I had presumed and as I understand there is a growing bit coin expect group and they're made up groups and things

yeah I mean obviously it depends on how we define the corner right but if we're talking about someone who is just generally aware and has used these transactions and is coming here from abroad for at least a small reason to to do with big point then I'd say that are expecting unity is about three thousand people right now about two thousand in the city and about a thousand sort of on the coast and we have meet ups and basically every day of the week there's a lot that goes on down to the beach because you know there's not a lot else to to do down there so people like to to get together and and and talk about bitcoin and and share a beer and share their war stories but here in the city you have a lot of that as well and there are a lot of different initiatives up until recently we've had the casa del bit coin which was a axle initiatives where they created a sort of free to use co working space we're gonna have other kinds of things like that opening here in the next couple of months so there are places where you can go and and meet these other people in the community and you'll immediately feel how welcome and and welcoming and friendly they are everybody wants to convince you to to live in El Salvador they want you to join the cult you know and and and be part of this revolution because it's gonna take a lot of people to effectively fight this battle and to to make the reality happen in el Salvador that we want to see happen

yeah that's crazy and there are big on communities around the world in may in most major cities and so wherever you go you can ideally you can plug into that made up the scene and bill Lee stop stop making some friends that way and yeah

I just wanna plug orange fill out so guys download or install apps so you can connect with their big corners as you go around to all the cities okay sorry

yeah no that's that's cool and so yeah I mean you got made a cruise is orange fill out this there's different ways to find a community right and I think part of that is that makes it more sustainable be able to move to a new place right because if you miss somewhere and maybe you're a bit more of an introvert and maybe it's not so easy to make new friends but I think that's one way that it probably if you're listening to this podcast then probably yet there's a good chance to make some friends this way so that's there and yes intensive spending bitcoin living the bitcoin life what's that been like for you in San Salvador

well I've been really fortunate because I guess due to to what I'm trying to accomplish here and sort of the the the role that I'm playing I get to meet a lot of other big corners people who are still stacking I'm at the stage of my life where I'm not sticking anymore and I need dollars occasionally in order to to be able to live and so there's a a big community of folks that want KEYC free bitcoin here and so we can have this informal network that is developed but even if you don't have access to that network right away and if you want it just you know paying men and will get you closer and but you can still use the coin here and a non K. Y. C. weight very easily as long as you can get your hands on the sim card you can go to the ATM and you can use it if you can send us a non RBS transaction you can pull money out immediately and you can go and enjoy not have and to go through that whole process but a lot of places do as you had mentioned at the very beginning except the coin directly most of the telecom companies most of the the the restaurants and for those random pieces of the puzzle that are hard to sort of fit in I have to give a plug to bit Riesel they've done a great job of really tracking down the different bills that you need to pay in order to to be here and and set up coupon arrangements with them so it really takes a mix of different approaches but you can absolutely lives a bit coin only that's what I've been doing for the last year and I haven't had you know many issues there were you know at the very beginning of getting used to the Chievo ATM interface is a little bit different I've had to go through the support a couple of times but I've had a successful resolution every single time that I've used

yeah and that has been one of the criticism as well that I've had as well is that around the Chievo application now hopefully they can improve it and it has improved over the last year but there are still I would say some teething issues that so for example the Chievo fine well it seems to work in terms of lightning stuff mostly but I've noticed the merchant terminal seems to default on chain which is a bit of a all quit and not a great user experience where is obviously if you're using bitcoin beach while at all the E. backs back to set up so the open nodes and also things like this they are just a lot more lightning native in lightning savvy

well and that's a that's an account issue too right so let's take for example superselect us you you go down the super select those and you want to pay in bitcoin the the met the process the payment process right now looks like they have to minimize their their application that they're running for the register they have to open a web browser and they go to the web portal for for Chievo and in the web portal they have an account set up obviously and they logged in and it shows you know an on chain default address but it has the ability to switch over to lightning so it is a bit of a hassle to kind of walk the cashier through that and it would in a perfect world they would know how to do all of this but and even more perfect world they would set up the default when they created the account and the right way but it again it's like you said these are teething issues and as we get more and more people coming in spending those things are gonna hire themselves out I'm honestly not concerned about those little issues because again you know I I go back to what I said at the at the beginning you know bitcoin isn't for the big one is for anyone not for everyone and so as long as no one is telling superselect us that they can't accept the coins I'm really happy with that arrangement and I know that over time they will be convinced like the rest of us have been convinced

excellent and so are there any thoughts that you could share in terms of staying in els on Taylor just visiting ells on day

I think it's great you you absolutely should go and see it it's a beautiful beach you can surf and you can mix and match with other big corners and that's a wonderful thing to do in there some great restaurants down there as well but that's a sort of a vacation spot I I do get a lot of people that are that are coming and saying oh my gosh I want to buy an apartment or a little piece of land or whatever should I go to to become beach and you know you can certainly do that but I understand that there is a high demand for that that area and there are many other places around the country where the demand isn't so high and you can find exceptional deals

yeah that's a fair point to make and it's probably fair to say so for people who've never been to a summit all right to the main employees sense either apple auto SA L. at the airport code that apple is about maybe forty five minutes drive to San Salvador and let's say from San Salvador to good ells on dates may be one L. let's say something like that just

triangle between the S. in those three and another thing that people don't take into consideration is the elevation change right so el Salvador really is in a country of micro climates and the higher you are the cooler you are so if you're down at the beach you're gonna have a tropical environment it's going to be hot and muggy and if you're cool with that that's great but it think about it like going to Miami beach right but if you go up the the highlands into for example San Salvador there are areas that are that are so much higher that your ears will pop if you if you drive between them and what once you get up to the higher level the winds are a little bit stronger that's more fresh air that's coming in and everything feels a lot cooler so one of the misconceptions that I had moving to to Central America was that oh my gosh I'm going to go and live in the jungle I can't imagine you know sweating it out you know but I'll I'll I will sort it out for bit coin so let me go but when I got here I was pleasantly surprised because I you know I live in a place where you know I had a worse wear sweats on a on a regular basis because it's too cold in the morning so you can have all different kinds of experiences in El Salvador

right and yes we we've been obviously focusing on the capital and as on date just for obvious reasons right it's a you know there's lots of other places that you could potentially go to I think it's maybe just that if it's your first time going then maybe you're you're naturally going to focus more towards those areas and so that's why I was asking around that so are there any other tips you have people I can imagine people might want to do a scouting trip will come as a tourist for the first time and then and fill it out for themselves and a and in any fact you know the people who are curious I would encourage them to get just going tried out right I think it's one of those things where there's a lot of media and there's a lot of noise out there but really you've got a just gonna see it for yourself and trust your own eyes trust your experience in terms of your visit to the country and if you enjoyed it that will then okay maybe that's an indicator that you you know it's something to proceed further with so could you give at sin is any tips on you know if they want to visit just as a tourist and anything that you keep in mind

absolutely take a tour the tourists here to go to a volcano or to go to a sort of a downtown walking tour or to go to the richest L. Flores or or or whatever these are beautiful areas to go and see and the Tories are super affordable we're talking like twenty thirty forty Bucks a person right so take the time to spend the money to do the tour because you're gonna have someone who is bilingual and is going to walk you through the process and make it easy for you they're gonna pick you up and they're gonna take you to where you need to go and when you come here I know that a lot of the corners are sort of the do it yourselfer types I certainly am right like I'm I'm a do my own research kind of a guy and that's fine but understand that that can make life more difficult than it has to be sometimes it's okay to break off a little change for someone to walk you around and show you what's going on and in the enjoy your vacation a little bit more I just think you'll get more out of it and you will have all of the additional concerns going on in the back of your mind like am I going to get lost or who do I call if I have a problem which you want someone to to be there with you so that's my number one piece of advice and then the other piece of advice is just walk you don't really ever know a place until you walk around on the street level and and see it in a sort of slow fashion like that if all you're going to do is get behind the wheel of an auto bill bill or in the passenger seat and drive around you're never going to experience what it's like to be you know sort of street level and I highly recommend that because San Salvador is at least is a city where it's it's it's built for that you have you know the little the little ladies on the the corner making their purposes and and and you can go and engage them in a conversation but they're a little shops and tiendas all over the place and they're people that that's what they do all day long to have these conversations and there's this vibrant community that exists sort of below the radar that you would miss unless you got on the on the street level so if you have a little bit of Spanish or you have a a guide to a linguist or some sort of a translator with it then I would definitely recommend doing that

and that's that actually brings up the other question I was going to ask intensive needing to know Spanish so could you comment a bit on that like how much can you get around just on English I presume if you're just talking and hanging out in the bitcoin or expect amenities that's going to be mostly English but if you really want to get more involved in the country you kind of will need to know Spanish right

yeah I mean listen if you learn twenty words hello goodbye thank you please you know like those are going to go a long way in if you have a translator app it's great to use it but before you go into a place try to anticipate what the conversation is gonna look like right you know if you are if you know that you're about to go up and ask somebody to help you find something you know it do a quick search of that and and have that pulled up because nobody likes to sit there while you're typing out you know a twenty word phrase that you're trying to figure out a translator and it might not even come across the way that you want anyway so learn a few basic words and that's gonna go a long way especially please and thank you I'm sorry excuse me you know just the basic sort of niceties of of conversation that's going to get you a long way in the eyes of any local and they're going to be a lot more helpful and responsive to you if you have that basic stuff but I would say that it's not necessary to have any more than that unless you really want to to dig into the community there are a lot of people here that are pretty much English only or German only or you know there a lot of different there a lot of people here from a lot of different countries so it's starting to mix and mingle in this is becoming more of a cosmopolitan city then then you would have imagined I can absolutely see the future where it becomes what present the Kelly said where it's you know it's a Singapore of Central America it's really going to have a lot of these different influences so don't think that you have to be an expert speaker and and Spanish in order to live here it would certainly they help but it's certainly not necessary

and the other interesting thing I guess looking and comparing around the world is that we are now starting to see lots of places around the world maybe not lots but some let's say there is look honor in Switzerland there is a you know some of these other bitcoin communities out there they're all the countries potentially that they might be looking at so in your mind why should people we could thinking specifically about El Salvador I guess that that's probably the you know the final I guess a closing thought to be able like what I also middle

where the tip of the spear or the edge of the knife man we're we're sending we're sending some records here we're we're writing history ourselves and we're serving as an example for the world and the eyes of the world is truly on us right if did the coin experiment fails here it's not going to hurt bitcoin in the long term obviously bitcoin is bigger than that but it can set back development and an adoption and other places if there is a you know an example of of a big failure like this so it is important we have established a beachhead here and I want to see and be successful and for what it's worth it Mary is a lot of the concerns that a lot of big corners would have above and beyond that point because this is truly a place where you can experience freedom away from those other worrying trends that are happening elsewhere I think people not might not realize this but the age of central bank digital currencies is upon us it is happening it's going to happen so fast and there may be failures with how they roll out the system there may be changes along the way but the idea of your financial experience in most of these developed countries being tracked down to them most minute details like that is going to be a reality sooner than later for for most people and if that bothers you there's a place where that is happening because we've chosen the freedom path we've chosen the big point pass and that's also the door

and I think so Jeremy where can listeners find you online

I'm addicted hopelessly to Twitter that's where you're going to find me but in addition to that you should check out the website it's a skate to also have a door dot org

then testigo Jeremy I think there's been a lot of excellent inside he especially for listeners who have not been to el Salvador I'm sure many of them will really benefit from hearing you all on the ground destructive instead of some corporate media you know garbage so thank you for joining me and have to chat again soon

I really appreciate the opportunity and anytime you want to check back in and see how it's going down the road I'm your guy

if you enjoyed the show make sure to share it and get the Senate's ever stuff on the Vera dot com slash full three full thanks for listening and I'll see you in the citadel's