El Salvador cryptocurrency opportunities in 2024

In June 2021, El Salvador became the world’s first country to adopt Bitcoin as a national currency. Merchants in El Salvador are now legally required to accept Bitcoin for everyday transactions. Multinational Clients can now do business, purchase goods and services and invest in El Salvador using their Bitcoins, and legally trade and bank profits from them.

The opportunities might be short-lived, so Clients should position themselves in the country in a timely manner. Already, the World Bank rejected El Salvador’s request to assist with the transition to Bitcoin, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned about the move. The implementation of Bitcoin as legal tender will be bumpy and uncertain.

Healy Consultants Group is happy to facilitate our Clients’ investment in El Salvador, including i) El Salvador company registration ii) opening a bank account which accepts both cryptocurrencies and multiple FIAT currencies iii) professional passive nominee resident director services, iv) professional passive nominee resident bank signatory services and v) daily communication with El Salvadorean banks and exchanges.

  • Opportunities for multinational Clients

    1. El Salvador is one of just four non-EU countries globally where Bitcoin is legal tender. In practical terms this means:
      • Foreign investors can freely spend their Bitcoins, do business and generate profits in Bitcoin and legally bank on Bitcoin profits.
      • The El Salvadorean government is keen to attract crypto-wealthy individuals to invest their Bitcoins in El Salvador as a form of cheap foreign direct investment. Among the incentives being offered are i) the ability for foreigners to buy tax-free luxury real estate in El Salvador using Bitcoin ii) zero capital gains tax on selling Bitcoin and iii) permanent residence for individuals holding at least three Bitcoins to invest in the country. No other country in the world allows investors to secure a ‘golden visa’ by investing Bitcoin.
      • The path to permanent residency is also a route to El Salvadorean citizenship. This might be attractive to crypto-currency investors from countries otherwise blacklisted by the likes of the EU, the OECD etc.
      • El Salvador is a cheap country in which to invest in non-crypto assets. There is huge upside potential to quickly accumulate physical assets such as real estate otherwise out of reach for mid-size crypto investors.
  • Risks to multinational Clients

    1. El Salvador’s regulatory environment is weak. The decision to make Bitcoin legal tender will likely lead to a long, drawn out process which enjoys little to no support from organisations like the World Bank and IMF.
    2. El Salvador is corrupt and politically unstable. While Bitcoin may be a legal route to purchasing assets in El Salvador, the usual risks remain. These include i) the fact that foreigners receive minimal protection in court during disputes over investments (e g real estate) and ii) El Salvador banks are at risk of failure, and the government is not in a position to support the banking and financial system.
    3. Relocating to El Salvador is risky due to high homicide and kidnaping rates and minimal protection for foreign investors.
    4. While deposits in El Salvador banks are protected by a government guarantee scheme up to US$10,000 per bank, it is not yet clear whether, or the extent to which, Bitcoin bank deposits will be afforded a similar protection.
    5. El Salvador is not a signatory to the Common Reporting Standard or other international frameworks to clamp down on money laundering and tax avoidance. By making Bitcoin legal tender, the source of Bitcoin investments is likely to come under even greater scrutiny from international governments. Repatriating Bitcoin-sourced profits out of El Salvador will also be difficult.
    6. El Salvador is poorly prepared for the efficient and seamless trade of Bitcoin among merchants, banks etc. For example, Bitcoin trade relies on fast internet speeds. Speeds in El Salvador are some of the world’s lowest.
  • Other considerations

    • Investing in El Salvador using Bitcoin is inherently risky. Under normal circumstances, El Salvador would not be an attractive place for investments. Doing business in the country is difficult, and regulations are complex.
    • El Salvador regulations are fluid and unpredictable. Multinational Clients should expect unexpected obstacles. Healy Consultants Group will supply legal work-around solutions.
    • Healy Consultants Group will assist our Clients to i) access the various Bitcoin-related investment incentives in El Salvador, ii) locate a suitable luxury property in El Salvador to buy and iii) prepare and submit a quality ‘golden visa’ application to the El Salvadorean government.
    • If using El Salvador as a base from which to trade Bitcoin globally, we only recommend engaging in trading with sophisticated investors. Healy Consultants Group does not recommend trading strategies.
    • Through our business relationships with El Salvadorean banks, Healy Consultants Group will secure welcome emails from bank officers, inviting a formal multicurrency or cryptocurrency corporate bank account application from our Client. Our team will aggressively negotiate a travel exemption for the El Salvador LLC shareholders, directors and bank signatories.
    • That said, the ultimate power of approval of multicurrency or cryptocurrency corporate bank account applications rests with the El Salvador bank in-house Legal and Compliance Department. El Salvador banks are notoriously slow decision makers.
    • For more information on alternative global crypto-friendly countries, visit this page.
  • Our fees and timelines

    Average engagement fees is approximately US$15,135 as outlined in the attached PDF file:

    View invoice PDF

    Within 16 weeks, our multinational Clients can expect to have an El Salvador LLC and multicurrency or cryptocurrency bank account and exchange trading account.

  • Conclusion

    From A to Z, Healy Consultants Group supplies our multinational Clients with all the professional support they need to invest in El Salvador using Bitcoin.

Contact us

For additional information on our business setup services in El Salvador, please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi
El Salvador central reserve bank El Salvador PROESA El Salvador ministry of foreign affairs El Salvador ministry of finance El Salvador ministry of economy