A local Bitcoin center has launched in the tourist town of Santa Lucia, Honduras.
Coined Bitcoin Valley, the private initiative aims to create a circular Bitcoin economy and increase the flow of tourists to the region by promoting the acceptance of BTC in local shops, local news outlet Diario La Prensa reported.
“Accepting bitcoin will allow us to open another market, to gain more customers,” said Cesar Andino, owner of a tourism business in Santa Lucia, according to a translated version of the report. “We have to globalize. We cannot close ourselves off from technology and we cannot abandon it when other countries are already doing it.
The project officially launched on Thursday and was created as a joint development by the organization Blockchain Honduras, the Guatemalan cryptocurrency exchange Coincaex, the Technological University of Honduras and the municipality of Santa Lucia, Reuters also reported.
According to the report, Carlos Leonardo Paguada Velázquez, founder of Blockchain Honduras and representative of the Central American Association of Cryptocurrency Users, said that about 60 businesses whose owners have received training on the use of Bitcoin will launch the project.
According to Paguada Velazquez, Coincaex will provide merchants with the necessary equipment to accept bitcoins as payment.
Despite the marketing, however, the initiative is only intended to increase tourist spending on Bitcoin, as Coincaex’s point-of-sale (POS) machine attempts to alleviate BTC’s volatility by supplying the local fiat currency to the merchant instead.
Therefore, if a buyer spends BTC to buy food at a merchant, “Coincaex will receive the bitcoins and transfer the payment to [Honduran] lempira next to the restaurant,” explained Paguada Velázquez. “Business owners won’t get bitcoins.”
Aside from merchant adoption, the initiative also aims to promote local education about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Local students and entrepreneurs have the opportunity to join classes on Bitcoin and related technology that will last more than a month.