San Salvador – Standing on the balcony of the National Palace in the capital, Salvadorean President Nayib Bukele, addressed the jubilant citizens of El Salvador below. "We will make affordable Bitcoin block space a fundamental human right for all Salvadorans!", he proclaimed. The crowd roared.
After winning the Presidential election with over 87% of the vote, President Bukele's mandate is clear. While his crackdown on gangs is likely to continue with even more intensity than before, an apparently new mission, to bring cheap block space in the form of cheap transactions to all citizens of El Salvador, has taken center stage. "No Salvadoran should pay 100 or more sats per vbyte to buy Papusas in the Land of Bitcoin!", the President declared. "We will work to make sure nobody pays more than 10 sats per vbyte on any transaction as long as they are in this country!", he continued.
The 100 billion satoshi question is: how will El Salvador accomplish this? El Salvador's Ministry of Finance published the initial plans which the newly re-elected President is expected to send to the Legislative Assembly. Users of the State sponsored Chivo app as well as the Blink app, the circular economy wallet backed by Galoy which emerged from El Zonte, will have their transaction fees subsidized by El Salvador's tax payers. The funds will primarily come from foreigners who must pay $15 for a tourist visa upon arriving in El Salvador for vacation.
Critics of the plan say its been hastily developed and is ultimately unsustainable. One critic, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Bugle "If transaction fees rise considerably due to broader adoption in the next cycle, the government will quickly start to run a deficit and could see the national debt balloon in size if they don't raise taxes to fund it." While cost is the main concern, mempool bloat and transaction wait times could become pain points resulting from the program as well. The critic elaborated, "If hundreds of thousands of Salvadorans begin broadcasting cheaper than market rate transactions, the mempool will become clogged. People all over the world, not just Salvadorans, will be waiting hours, days, for transactions to be confirmed. Papusas will be cold by the time they are paid for!"
The Bukele Administration down played these concerns noting that almost nobody in El Salvador even uses Bitcoin. "It's mostly for gringo tourists to use and capture on video for TikTok. Most Salvadorans are using U.S. Dollars day-to-day." A spokesman for President Bukele said. President Bukele himself, known to make light hearted jokes about being the "World's Coolest Dictator", addressed the concerns directly, the other day, with a similar tongue-in-cheek comment, "If Ordinals enjoyers cause the prices to rise too high, I might have to free some MS-13 gang members in our prisons to hunt the JPEG spammers down and eliminate them."