The crypto industry continues to weather harsh times under increasing regulations, dropping investor confidence, and a general faltering of the global economy. Amidst this storm, it has found a strong voice of support in the form of Colombia’s incoming president, Gustavo Petro, whose swearing-in is scheduled for August 7, 2022.
A look at his past tweets, going back to before his campaign, reveals a person with great faith in cryptocurrencies in general and Bitcoin in particular. To paraphrase one of his tweets from 2017, he believes that Bitcoin has the power to strip issuance power from our states and break up the banking industry’s monopoly on capital. By his logic, it accomplishes this by providing a community-based currency whose underlying strength will be people’s trust in each other.
“Bitcoin removes power of issuance from the states and the seigniorage of the currency from the banks. It is a community currency that is based on the trust of those who carry out transactions with it, since it is based on the blockchain, trust is measured and grows, hence its strength.”Twitter – Petro Gustavo
The South American cryptocurrency industry is one of the most robust in the world. Crypto trading activity is fast-paced and voluminous, which is what has attracted the attention of major crypto-exchanges such as Bitso, who have recently opened up their Colombia branch. Another vote of confidence has come from Golden-Boot-winning soccer legend James Rodriguez, who went so far as to launch a cryptocurrency of his own.
Bridging the Gap Between Crude Oil and Renewable Energy
The younger generation of Colombia has grown up with massive amounts of poverty and hardship, making them particularly sensitive to campaigns running on the promise of economic prosperity. Petro, the country’s first leftist president, made Bitcoin and the promise of modernizing and revitalizing the country’s economy his central platform while on the campaign trail. If we’re to believe the experts, this message is what catapulted him to the forefront of public opinion.
One of his pledges was a promise to shift the country’s energy production from oil to renewable energy. Oil currently stands as Colombia’s number one export, but Petro has vowed to steer the country away from oil dependency by stopping new oil exploration endeavors. He doubled down on his renewable energy pledges by promising to halt another one of Colombia’s not-so-green energy practices; large-scale open-pit mining.
Following El Salvador’s Lead
You may recall that in 2021, El Salvador blazed the crypto trail by officially becoming the first country in the world to recognize Bitcoin as a valid currency. This significantly impacted Petro, who would immediately begin pushing for the same policy in Colombia.
Nayib Bukele, El Salvadore’s president, went further to announce plans to tap into the country’s volcanoes to generate the required geothermal energy required for large-scale Bitcoin mining operations in a renewable way. This, too, was echoed by Petro, who suggested that Colombia divorce itself from its cocaine production (an industry Colombia leads in by a large margin) and transition to Bitcoin mining.
He reiterated his views via tweets, expounding on the potential for energy production represented by the steep falls of the Colombian rivers that come down from the western mountains and drain into the Pacific ocean. According to his vision, the coal workers toiling in the Cesar region and the impoverished black populaces that make up the Colombian pacific coast would all be empowered by the dual bounties of Bitcoin mining and geothermal energy production. Sounds like a man with a plan.