Curtis Loftis, a South Carolina treasurer, spent five days in El Salvador as part of an “exploratory trip” focused on cryptocurrency.
According to the Oct. 5 announcement, Loftis was part of a delegation of South Carolina business leaders, rural health professionals and individuals “interested in expanding crypto and blockchain technologies” who met with El Salvador government officials in an effort to understand the country’s attempts to adopt Bitcoin (BTC). The cryptocurrency has been legal tender alongside the US dollar in the Central American country since El Salvador’s Bitcoin law came into force in September 2021.
Loftis reportedly used his own money to pay for the trip, which included discussing Bitcoin with government officials and exploring the country’s financial literacy programs. According to the treasurer, the visit to El Salvador was requested by the South Carolina legislature to explore ways to support crypto and blockchain adoption in the state.
In a conversation with Cointelegraph, Loftis, a self-described Laudette, said he was neither a supporter nor an opponent of cryptocurrency, but wanted to learn how the government of South Carolina could use the technology effectively, as well as increase financial literacy among the population. The treasurer said the group tried to use bitcoin “maybe four times” during the El Salvador trip, as payments to street vendors and local businesses.
“We were at a nicer restaurant and the tab was between $300 and $400 — a handful of us — and they paid in bitcoin,” Loftis said. “I previously signed up for Lightning. […] It was interesting […] the people who live close to the earth with Bitcoin, and some of them really like it – they really enjoyed doing it.”
The South Carolina treasurer added:
“That’s our mission: not to create a world with Bitcoin or Ethereum, or not to create this world – it’s just to understand what’s going on, to create a system where […] we make sure that people have good resources to understand what’s going on.”
Related Topics: Grassroots Initiatives Bringing Bitcoin Education to Communities Across America
Reports indicated that nearly 20% of Salvadorans use BTC through Chivo Wallets, while the President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, announced that the government had 2,381 BTC in July. With the crypto market plummeting, the value of the country’s total Bitcoin investment has fallen by more than 55% since September 2021 – worth nearly $48 million at press time.