El Salvador’s vision of creating a thriving Bitcoin-powered ecosystem has taken a significant step forward with the commencement of construction on the Pacífico Airport, also known as Bitcoin City Airport. A month ago, YouTuber Albert Sánchez shared compelling aerial footage showcasing construction crews diligently working on the site, reaffirming the government’s commitment to the project.
The Pacífico Airport is not merely an airport but a vital element of the comprehensive Bitcoin City development. This ambitious undertaking involves the construction of a settlement at the base of a volcano, utilizing geothermal energy to power the city and facilitate Bitcoin mining operations. The government’s goal is to create a tax-free environment where residents can engage in business activities, taking advantage of El Salvador’s pioneering decision to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender.
Initial reports in 2022 suggested delays or potential abandonment of the Bitcoin City project due to fluctuations in BTC prices. These doubts were further fueled when a government ministry appeared unaware of the initiative earlier this year. However, a government-affiliated entity recently confirmed the continued existence of the Bitcoin City construction plans, and the groundbreaking for the airport adds substance to President Nayib Bukele’s BTC aspirations.
According to local media outlet Criptonoticias, heavy machinery is now actively excavating the construction site, underscoring the progress being made in turning the Bitcoin City vision into reality. The Autonomous Executive Port Commission (CEPA) has allocated an initial budget of $73 million to the airport project, with an estimated total cost of $350 million. The commencement of construction comes after the project obtained the necessary environmental permits, meeting regulatory requirements for the complex
While the Bitcoin City project represents a promising future for El Salvador’s crypto sector, concerns have been raised by the local community. Critics argue that the construction is taking a toll on the area’s delicate ecosystem, impacting animal and plant life. With approximately 52 families facing relocation, community leaders voice their discontent with the current developments.
Both the Bitcoin City Airport and Bitcoin City itself are referred to as “sister projects” by President Bukele’s administration, as they were unveiled simultaneously. Renowned Mexican architect Fernando Romero has been entrusted with the design of both ventures, creating a unified vision for El Salvador’s crypto-powered future.
To finance these ambitious projects, the government aims to leverage the long-awaited Bitcoin bonds issuance. While delayed, the bonds issuance is expected to occur this summer, according to a senior Bitfinex executive. However, concerns have emerged in the United States, where senators are calling for a risk report on Bukele’s BTC adoption plans, highlighting the need for comprehensive assessment and analysis.
As El Salvador breaks ground on the Bitcoin City Airport, it takes another stride toward becoming a global pioneer in the crypto realm. The successful realization of this project has the potential to revolutionize the country’s economy, attracting international attention and investment. However, it remains imperative to address the environmental impact and alleviate concerns of local communities to ensure a balanced and sustainable implementation of these groundbreaking initiatives.