The government is preparing loans for SMEs in alliance with the Solana-based platform Acumen. At the same time, a project to build an NFT casino was announced, which will also exist in the metaverse.
The Salvadoran government’s strategy to incorporate Bitcoin the national economy continues to evolve.
The next step on the agenda will be to roll out loans backed by the leading cryptocurrency to local small businesses. The initiative will be carried out in partnership with a platform based on Solana. On the other hand, it seems that the Central American country is also beginning to explore the space of tokens no fungibles (NFT).
Loans with Bitcoin and low interest rates
El Salvador’s government announced this week that it is planning to start offering small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) low-interest loans backed by Bitcoin. The measure would seek to serve an important business population in the country that currently do not have a bank account.
The president of the National Commission for Micro and Small Enterprises (Conamype) in El Salvador, Paul Steiner, indicated in conversation with CoinDesk that 86% of the companies in the country operate in the informal sector and do not have access to banking services. Of that percentage, 98% rely on unregistered lenders offering loans at average annual interest rates of 2,300%.
El Salvador has approximately 1.2 million companies in the country. Approximately 66% are microenterprises or “subsistence” businesses. More than 90% of microenterprises finance themselves through informal or usurious loans.
As a way to combat this informal market and provide greater opportunities for local businesses, the government is earmarking a sum of USD $10 million for cryptocurrency-based loans. It is expected that the allocation of credits will start during the first quarter of the year, according to what was reviewed CoinDesk.
How will the loans work?
According to the post, Conamype, a government entity that serves Salvadoran entrepreneurs, has associate with Acumen, a blockchain-based lending platform Solana, to offer the financing vehicle.
Loans in alliance with Acumen They will have an annual interest rate of between 6% and 7%, although they could rise to 18%, according to the platform’s project manager, Andrea Gómez. CoinDesk. She added that the terms of the agreement with the Salvadoran government are still being defined, although the company has already been authorized as a lender by the Central Bank of El Salvador.
Steiner revealed to the outlet that the government has been in talks with Acumen since October 2021, after the regulations recognizing Acumen were approved. Bitcoin as legal tender in that country. He also said that the government “holds negotiations” with different crypto loan platforms that seek to grant loans to Salvadoran SMEs. The official added that, if these agreements are carried out, they could represent movements of USD $200 million.
As such, the loans will be doled out in US dollars, Steiner explained. Acumen, which currently has 15,000 users, will convert the Bitcoin in stablecoins like USDC o Tether and deliver the dollars to Conamype, which in turn will grant these funds in said currency to salvadoran businessmen. The government will then return the dollars to the platform.
Physical and virtual casino for NFT trading
In other news from El Salvador, it was reported that the government has also partnered with a company in the digital collectibles sector to launch the country’s first NFT casino. As reported by the local media The Savior, the startup Astro Babies it hopes to build a casino and VIP club physically located in the Central American nation, but one that will also have a virtual presence in the metaverse.
The Twitter account of Astro Babies published about the initiative on Wednesday of this week. “As the first land-based crypto casino and VIP club, Astro Casino will offer a first-of-its-kind payout program for all NFT holders“.
We would like to extend our gratitude to all parties responsible for making this a reality. On behalf of the entire NFT community, we would like to dedicate this opportunity to bring jobs and prosperity to the people of El Salvador.
@astrobabiesnft would like to Officially Announce the Development of #AstroCasino, an NFT based Crypto Casino in Partnership with the Government of #ElSalvador.#Solana #SolanaNFTs #Bitcoin #NFT #Crypto @nayibbukele @monicataher pic.twitter.com/OjX6J2CXrx
— Astro Babies (@AstroBabiesNFT) January 19, 2022
While authorities have not made any official announcements about the project, the startup said it had partnered with the Salvadoran government to build the casino. Details about these plans are still scarce, but El Salvador’s government adviser, Mónica Taher, seemed to confirm the initiative when she asked retweet to a post on the subject.
The most recent efforts to promote Bitcoin in El Salvador come shortly after the government announced plans to issue bonds based on the digital currency. as reported DailyBitcoin, twenty bills are being prepared to provide a legal framework for this initiative. This is just one of many crypto-related developments the nation is pushing; others include building a city Bitcoin, as well as mining projects Bitcoin.
Article versioned by Hannah Estefanía Pérez / DailyBitcoin
Image edited from Unsplash
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