Despite the ongoing slump in the global cryptocurrency market, Honduras has launched a Bitcoin Valley in Santa Lucia. This is an effort to encourage tourism and 60 businesses are participating. Santa Lucia’s Bitcoin Valley will accept cryptocurrency as payment.
Honduras’ blockchain organization, Coincaex, the Technological University of Honduras, and Santa Lucia’s municipality have collaborated on this ambitious effort. Leonardo Paguada, the founder of Blockchain Honduras Organization, said merchants will receive instant payments in the local currency. He highlighted that around 60 businesses whose owners have received training on the use of Bitcoin will kickstart the project. Paguada said Coincaex will provide the merchants with the necessary equipment for the acceptance of Bitcoin as payment. It will increase tourist spending on Bitcoin. Coincaex’s point-of-sale (PoS) machine will ease the volatility of BTC by delivering the local fiat currency to the merchant.
Cesar Andino, the owner of tourist businesses in Santa Lucia, says accepting the popular cryptocurrency will allow them to open another market and win more customers. He agreed with the fact that they have to “globalize”. Andino said they can’t close businesses off from technology and be left behind when other countries like El Salvador are already doing it. Ruben Carbajal Velazquez, professor at Technological University, said Santa Lucia’s community will be taught to use and manage cryptocurrencies. It will be implemented in different businesses in the region to generate crypto-tourism.
However, critics warn that Bitcoin will fuel money laundering and financial stability in the country and region. It will further enhance the digital gap.