El Salvador plans first ‘Bitcoin City’

El Salvador plans to build the world’s first “Bitcoin City”, funded initially by bitcoin-backed bonds, President Nayib Bukele said on Saturday.

Speaking at an event closing a week-long promotion of bitcoin in El Salvador, Bukele said the city planned in the eastern region of La Union would get geothermal power from a volcano and not levy any taxes except for value added tax (VAT).

Half of the VAT levied would be used to fund the bonds issued to build the city, and the other half would pay for services such as garbage collection, Bukele said, estimating the public infrastructure would cost around 300,000 bitcoins.

El Salvador in September became the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender here.

Although Bukele is a popular president, opinion polls show Salvadorans are skeptical about his love of bitcoin, and its bumpy introduction has fueled protests against the government.

Likening his plan to cities founded by Alexander the Great, Bukele said Bitcoin City would be circular, with an airport, residential and commercial areas, and feature a central plaza designed to look like a bitcoin symbol from the air.

El Salvador planned to issue the initial bonds in 2022, Bukele said, suggesting it would be in 60 days time.

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