Berlin: The Hidden Bitcoin Capital of El Salvador 🌄💰

Two Digital Nomads in El Salvador Spark Groundbreaking Bitcoin Adoption in Small Mountain Town of Berlin

The story of two digital nomads who created the fastest growing Bitcoin community in El Salvador.

Did you know that there is a small mountain town called Berlin in El Salvador that has become a bitcoin haven? It may not have the population or fame of its namesake in Germany, but it has something even more impressive – over 100 merchants accepting bitcoin! How did this picturesque town achieve such a feat in just six months? Let’s dive into the fascinating story of Berlin and its transformation into the hidden bitcoin capital of El Salvador.

Magic Internet Money ✨💸

The story begins with Gerardo Linares and his girlfriend Evelyn Lemus, digital nomads who discovered bitcoin during their time in El Salvador. When the country designated bitcoin as legal tender in June 2021, Gerardo and Evelyn were intrigued. They attended meetups in San Salvador and El Zonte to learn more about this “magic internet money.” After downloading the Chivo wallet and receiving their $30 worth of bitcoin, they fell in love with the concept of being their own “decentral bank.”

Realizing that adoption of bitcoin was mainly limited to El Zonte and San Salvador, Gerardo and Evelyn set out to change that. They quit their digital nomad jobs and embarked on a journey that eventually led them to settle in Berlin, a small mountain town two hours east of San Salvador.

Sharing The Bitcoin Gospel 🗣️⛪

Determined to spread the word about bitcoin, Gerardo and Evelyn traveled to numerous towns and villages across El Salvador. They never missed an opportunity to educate students in local schools about the benefits of bitcoin. Along the way, they joined forces with Mi Primer Bitcoin, a bitcoin education company based in El Salvador. As CEO Cory Klippsten of Swan Bitcoin wisely says, “To educate people on bitcoin is to market bitcoin.”

Their efforts to educate the masses extended to Berlin, where they gave classes on bitcoin. The town officials in Berlin were eager to attract tourists and were proud of their community. Gerardo and Evelyn found their perfect canvas for building a circular economy and enhancing adoption.

Challenges and Solutions 🧗‍♂️🚀

Encouraging merchant acceptance of bitcoin is no easy task. However, Berlin presented a unique opportunity. The initial wave of adoption began with Gerardo and Evelyn personally onboarding 17 merchants. They had the advantage of directly reaching decision-makers in small shops who were eager for tourism and offered cash-only payments. Bitcoin provided a solution to enter the digital age for payments, instantly making Berlin a destination for bitcoiners.

An initial hurdle was the Chivo wallet, which defaulted to generating a QR code for US dollars instead of bitcoin. Gerardo and Evelyn had to find a workaround to make it bitcoin-friendly. They later introduced the more user-friendly Blink wallet to Berlin’s merchants, making the acceptance of bitcoin smoother.

Gradually, then suddenly… 🌱💥

With persistence and determination, Gerardo and Evelyn reached a tipping point when approximately 50 shops began accepting bitcoin. The tables turned, and merchants started coming to them for information on accepting bitcoin. The excitement around bitcoin has taken root in Berlin, leading to the acceptance of bitcoin in over 100 shops and businesses, approximately a quarter of the town’s total.

Berlin’s success wouldn’t have been possible without the buzz created by nearby El Zonte, a small surfing town that also embraced bitcoin. Now, when bitcoiners land in San Salvador, they face a choice: head 30 minutes south to El Zonte or venture east for two hours to Berlin. Whether you prefer the beach or the mountains, there will be plenty of merchants in both towns eager to accept your bitcoin.

The Future of Berlin and Bitcoin in El Salvador 🔮💡

Gerardo and Evelyn’s commitment to education and community development go beyond bitcoin. They have a 15-page strategic plan to transform Berlin into a global tourist destination while fostering a self-sustaining circular economy. With the increasing interest in El Salvador and the rise of circular economies, the future looks bright for bitcoin in this small mountain town.

As bitcoin gains prominence worldwide, it’s inspiring to see the impact it can have on the unlikeliest of places. Berlin’s transformation into the hidden bitcoin capital of El Salvador is a testament to the power of persistence, passion, and belief in the potential of cryptocurrency.


Now, let’s address a few questions and concerns you might have:


Q: How did Berlin manage to attract so many bitcoiners in such a short period?

A: Berlin’s success in attracting bitcoiners can be attributed to its unique position as a small town with limited digital payment options. By accepting bitcoin, Berlin became a must-visit destination for bitcoin enthusiasts, driving tourism and increasing merchant adoption.

Q: Are there any challenges associated with accepting bitcoin in Berlin?

A: One significant challenge was the initial reluctance of merchants to accept bitcoin due to unfamiliarity with digital payments. Gerardo and Evelyn had to personally onboard merchants and provide them with user-friendly wallets like Blink. Once they realized the potential gains from holding bitcoin, hesitation transformed into enthusiasm.

Q: What role did the surrounding town of El Zonte play in Berlin’s bitcoin adoption?

A: El Zonte, a nearby surfing town, paved the way for bitcoin adoption in El Salvador. Its success in attracting tourists through bitcoin-led initiatives created a ripple effect, inspiring merchants in Berlin to embrace cryptocurrency. The collaboration between towns highlights the power of community-driven adoption.

Q: What is the future outlook for Berlin and bitcoin adoption in El Salvador?

A: Berlin’s strategic plan and commitment to education indicate a bright future. As El Salvador builds on its position as a pro-crypto nation, more towns and cities are likely to follow Berlin’s lead. The integration of bitcoin into the economy has the potential to create sustainable development and further cement El Salvador’s status as a crypto-friendly country.

Now it’s your turn to spread the word! If you found this article insightful and enjoyed learning about Berlin’s bitcoin revolution, don’t forget to share it with your friends and followers on social media. Let’s shine a light on the hidden gem of El Salvador’s bitcoin movement. ✨🚀

This is a guest post by Mark Maraia and Beren Sutton Cleaver. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.

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