This essay examines Bitcoin enthusiasts’ abstract and material arguments about the viability of bitcoin in El Salvador through historical and political-economic frameworks. In June 2021, with legislators in tow, President Nayib Bukele declared that the adoption of Bitcoin would encourage flows of capital into El Salvador’s crisis-addled economy—flows that would lift all boats. In a sense, riding on Bitcoin’s success or failure in El Salvador is a test case for Bit-coin’s claim to be the future of money and for other such “technical fixes” of capitalism’s shortfalls in the developing world. By comparing Bukele’s move with El Salvador’s push to dollarize in 2001, this essay traces a comparable strategy of El Salvador’s economic and political elites where the swap of currencies becomes a vehicle for massive accumulation at the top, while popular classes suffer. Consequently, this essay argues that Bukele’s “technical fix” on his nation’s economy is a mere pretext. By leveraging the assets of the broader populace, he pursues the class interests of El Salvador’s new oligarchy.

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