For several years, Colombia’s president-elect, Gustavo Petro, has supported bitcoin as a technology that could decentralise power from the government.
Before assuming the presidency, he had indeed spoken explicitly about mining digital currencies.
The newly elected president believes in decentralisation and claims that Bitcoin deprives banks of power.
Colombia has a new president, and Bitcoin is the expectation of both his supporters and his concerned opponents. For several years, Colombia’s president-elect, Gustavo Petro, has supported bitcoin as a new tech that could decentralise authority from the government. He had even spoken clearly and openly about mining digital currencies before taking over the top executive spot, which could trigger wide ranging changes in the country.
According to the New York Times , only 58 percent of Colombia’s 39 million registered voters cast ballots. Gustavo Petro was elected president with more than half of the vote. This is a significant event for the country. He is the country’s first leftist president, and his economic strategy has been dubbed “economic suicide.”
Use of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in Latin America has sparked international interest, particularly since El Salvador legalised the technology in 2021. Recent advances in crypto and digital assets have fueled startup activity in the region. In 2021, the value of Latin American crypto firms increased tenfold, from $68 million to $650 million .
During Colombia’s previous presidential term, a direct adviser to the president even called bitcoin a brilliant idea. By the end of the run, however, little had changed to allow the local market to thrive and attract global attention.
Still, the local congress is debating a bill to regulate the sector, which could be passed in the coming years.
According to Reuters, Petro pledged to “stop new hydrocarbon exploration and the construction of new large-scale open-pit mines, as well as to put an end to exploratory fracking pilots and offshore oil and gas projects, some of which even have contracts.”
With the market at an all-time high, many people were curious about Gustavo Petro’s thoughts on Bitcoin, which is gaining popularity in the country and across the region. He shared all of his thoughts on the subject, including controversial ones, on Twitter.
One example is the use of Bitcoin to bring Colombia’s cocaine empire to an end, a contentious topic on which no previous president has had much success. He stated in 2021 that cryptocurrencies could be a financial alternative for the country, which has great rivers to generate energy for cryptocurrency mining. He used El Salvador as an example.
“Virtual currency is pure information and therefore energy.”
¿Y que tal que el litoral pacífico aprovechara las caídas de alta pendiente de los rios de la cordillera occidental para producir toda la energía del litoral y reemplazar cocaína con la energía para las criptomonedas? La moneda virtual es pura información y por tanto energía. https://t.co/65xdN2whuO — Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) October 2, 2021
Petro’s proposal has been roundly criticized, including by world-renowned leftists such as Brazil’s former president Lula da Silva.Petro has also entertained the idea of printing money. He praised the Federal Reserve’s money printing strategy during the Covid pandemic last year, calling it a success.
Gustavo Petro made a public statement about Bitcoin on Twitter in 2017. In response to a former Colombian economy minister, the current president stated that because Bitcoin is a community currency, it is taking control to issue currency away from the government.
El bitcoin quita poder de emision a los estados y el señoreaje de la moneda a los bancos. Es una moneda comunitaria que se basa en la confianza de quienes realizan transacciones con ella, al tener como base el blockchain, la confianza se mide y crece, de ahí deriva su fortaleza https://t.co/g8cO9WfP0L — Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) December 26, 2017
Colombia’s new president is already familiar with the technology and has recently expressed interest in using Bitcoin to combat the country’s drug trade. However, it’s unclear whether his president’s plan includes any implementation guidelines.
Petro’s leftist speech, as their first leftist president, won the support of youth of today and many gatherings of people who have long waited for a transformation in poverty and suffering.