Ever Heard Of Bitcoin Beach? - Stab Mag

Playing (Mostly) Exclusively On Stab Premium: Facing Monsters, Featuring Kerby & Cortney Brown

La Libertad - Site of the Salvadorian CT in mid-June - 20kms from BTC Beach. Photo by WSL

Ever Heard Of Bitcoin Beach?

The Salvadorian surf town and CT site that inspired adopting BTC as a national currency.

news // Jan 23, 2022
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 2 minutes

In Sept. 2021, under the leadership of President Nayib Bukele, El Salvador adopted Bitcoin, the decentralized digital currency as legal tender. Come mid-June for the Salvadorian CT event, Italo may well be paying for his 7000 coffees with a crypto wallet. 

Until Sept 2021, El Salvador’s national currency was the US dollar until new prez elect, 40-year-old Mr Bukele, Sasha Baron Cohen-lookalike, wearer of cool baseball cap, and head of the ‘New Ideas’ party decided to shake the money tree. 

BTC, yesh shemesh, I like very much.

In a country like El Salv, ranked 124th in the Human Development Index, a metric evaluated based on life expectancy, education, and per capita income, many of its 6.8 million citizens go abroad to earn their money where they can expect better quality of life and a more hefty income. One fifth of El Salv’s gross GDP currently comes from money earned outside the country. 

Typically, El Salv folks relied on banks to get their money home, who took a margin in admin and transaction fees to line their own pockets. The promise of crypto then, was that it would cut out the middle man allowing citizens to bank more of their hard-earned savings. Every Salvadoran was gifted $30USD in BTC to shop and pay their taxes with, all companies were required to accept it by law.

El Zonte, a surfing village on the country’s Pacific coast just 20kms from La Libertad, where the CT will be held, was where the BTC dream was birthed, serving as a testing ground to assess the efficacy of a small-scale crypto-based economy. 

In 2019, a small team of Salvadoran volunteers and an American expat started to transform the region to run on BTC. Dubbed the Bitcoin Beach Project, businesses and tourists in the area used BTC to conduct transactions in beach huts or for other local expenses. Employees in the town receive their salaries in digital currency. The name Bitcoin Beach was thus cemented as an open tribute to the town’s acceptance of the currency as payment.

Now looking to consolidate the move to BTC as the national currency, El Salvador is looking to power the Bitcoin movement further by initiating additional developments of the Bitcoin beach. One of which may be Central America’s first wave park in hopes that it will establish Bitcoin Beach as a global Surf hub. 

While the proposal for the wave park seems, at present, a claim largely unsubstantiated by reliable sources, it would make it a more desirable destination from a surf tourism standpoint at a time when more eyeballs are looking at Salv than ever before. 


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

‘Desensitised’ Chronicles Kipp Caddy’s Journey To The ‘Wave Of A Lifetime’ In Mind Melting 8K 

“I think crew get a bit too beaten up on the whole tow vs paddle…

Jul 24, 2024

Long Read: How Surfing The World’s Most Dangerous Slabs Saved Kerby Brown’s Life

"There is big wave surfing, and then there is what Kerby does." - Kai Lenny

Jul 24, 2024

Who Nathan Florence Is Betting On For Olympic Gold

Become a better better with our 2023 SSOTY.

Jul 23, 2024

Kai McKenzie Attacked By Shark In Port Macquarie

The young freesurfer sustained a life-threatening injury to his right leg.

Jul 23, 2024

Op-ed: PSA From The Photog World — Know Your Fucking Limits

Nate Lawrence, Chris Bryan, Dom Mosqueira, Morgan Maassen and more chime in on the recent…

Jul 22, 2024

Unlocked: Oxbow’s Children Of Teahupo’o

10,000 miles from Paris, here's a portrait of surfing's 'Olympic Village.'

Jul 22, 2024

Dimitri Poulos Is Reinvigorated After Losing His Taurine-Caffeine Sponsor

Now the 21-year-old ‘comp guy’ from Ventura threatens a Dane-esque pivot to freesurfing.

Jul 22, 2024

Empty Set: When Is It Ok To Bail Your Board?

The Florences and Mark Healey dissect the razor-thin line between cowardice and common sense

Jul 21, 2024

A (Non) Objective Look At The Best Backside Barrel Riders In History

Who has the best pigdog in the pen?

Jul 21, 2024

The Stab Interview With Jordy Smith

"If I won a gold medal, yeah, I'd probably kick out. I'd have one up…

Jul 19, 2024

How Does A Board Brand Licensing Model Work?

The Lost Stub 3.0 Joyride.

Jul 18, 2024

Challenger Series Losers Win Consolation Prizes At Namibian Desert Casino

"Some crew were saying it was a 3/10, but for me, it was 10/10. The…

Jul 18, 2024

How Teahupo’o Slungshot A Surf-Mat Toting Photographer Into An Induced Coma

Byron Mcloughlin tells the tale of his secondary drowning.

Jul 18, 2024

On Making A Living As A Gen-Z Surf Photographer And Surviving Hyper-Rare Cancer

This 21-year-old protégé of Ryan Miller and Morgan Maassen is back and #opentowork.

Jul 17, 2024

In This Instalment Of MTV Cribs… Ethan Ewing

A character-revealing profile on the Olympian and World #5 + a complimentary Fiji preview

Jul 17, 2024

Jake Marshall Made It To 4th In The World And His Best Friend Is To Blame

From combatants, to housemates, to secretive CT surfer/shaper.

Jul 16, 2024

2024’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test Star Is…

Massively overqualified. 

Jul 16, 2024

Kelly Slater, Sierra Kerr + Erin Brooks Awarded Role Of Cats In Penultimate CT Pigeon Parade

A deadly lineup of wildcards just got invited to Fiji, the last event to determine…

Jul 16, 2024