Third world countries will soon follow in El Salvador’s footsteps. According to the CEO of BitMEX, Alexander Höptner, more and more countries will make Bitcoin legal tender.
Bitcoin as legal tender
In a blog post Höptner expressed his support for El Salvador embracing Bitcoin as legal tender in September. In addition, he predicted that several developing countries will soon follow suit and also start accepting Bitcoin:
“My prediction is that by the end of next year we will have at least five countries that accept Bitcoin as legal tender. It will all be developing countries.”
According to Höptner, developing countries will adopt Bitcoin faster due to three main factors. These are the growing need for cheaper and faster international remittances, massive inflation and political problems.
Unlike consumers in more developed countries, people in emerging economies are more affected by cross-border payment problems and inflation.
The CEO noted that remittances made up 23% of El Salvador’s gross domestic product in 2020. While the World Bank estimated that low- and middle-income countries receive about 75% of total global remittances. He added that people around the world are increasingly looking to Bitcoin as a solution to weather massive inflation. He referred to the rapid adoption of crypto currencies in Turkey with an inflation rate of 19.2%.
Crypto world divided
Höptner, former CEO of the German stock exchange Boerse Stuttgart, took over the position of CEO of BitMEX in December 2020. In this he replaced Arthur Hayes.
Höptner is not alone in thinking that more countries will follow El Salvador’s lead in adopting Bitcoin. Last month, Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson predicted that many more countries will adopt crypto. World-renowned computer programmer Edward Snowden also believes latecomers may regret their hesitation.
Some key figures in the crypto world had doubts about El Salvador’s crypto adoption, including President Nayib Bukele. On Friday, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin criticized Bukele’s approach to adopting Bitcoin. He said forcing companies to accept a specific crypto currency violates the ideals of freedom that are said to be so important to the crypto world.