El Salvador’s New Citizenship-by-Investment Program Requires $1M BTC or USDT Investment


The government of El Salvador has teamed up with stablecoin issuer Tether to launch the “Adopting El Salvador Freedom Visa Program,” designed to benefit the economy, the culture, and the people of the nation.

This new citizenship-by-investment initiative offers a residency visa and a route to citizenship for 1,000 individuals who are prepared to make a significant $1 million investment in Bitcoin within the country.

El Salvador’s Citizenship Program

Applicants are required to submit a non-refundable deposit of $999 in either Bitcoin or USDT, and successful candidates must undergo a Know Your Customer (KYC) verification, according to the official blog post.

Once accepted, the deposit will be applied towards the $1 million investment in Bitcoin or USDT necessary to obtain the Freedom Visa and subsequently attain citizenship. This investment enables participants to obtain the Freedom Visa and actively contribute to the nation’s progress.

Moreover, families have the opportunity to apply collectively, allowing eligible members such as spouses, children, and dependent relatives to participate in shaping the future of El Salvador.

Following the development, Paolo Ardoino, CEO of Tether, commented,

“Our collaboration with the government of El Salvador is a significant moment for Tether as a technology provider. This initiative highlights our commitment to supporting cities and communities in their pursuit of financial freedom and innovation. It represents a unique opportunity for us to utilize our technological capabilities to foster growth and innovation in the region.”

Alistair Milne, the creator of the crypto hedge fund Altana Digital Currency, said that El Salvador’s program is not competitive on a global scale. He emphasized that obtaining citizenship in a European Union country could be done at a lower cost.

Notably, the cost of citizenship in El Salvador seems comparatively higher than that of neighboring Caribbean nations, where such programs typically commence at $100,000.

Should all positions be occupied, this initiative has the potential to generate $1 billion for El Salvador, establishing a significant revenue stream comparable to the citizenship-by-investment program in Vanuatu, which brings in millions annually.

Bitcoin Initiatives

Since making Bitcoin a legal tender in September 2021, El Salvador has hopped on several initiatives to boost its economic growth. Volcano Energy, an El Salvador-based Bitcoin firm, kicked off the first phase of a planned $1 billion investment into sustainably powered digital asset mining in the country earlier this year. The project had received backing from several entities, including Tether.

This week, President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador said that the nation’s investment in Bitcoin has become profitable as the asset’s price surpassed the $40,000 threshold, marking the first time in nearly two years. Currently, it holds more than $130 million worth of Bitcoin.

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