Bullish on Bitcoiners: Recap of the Adopting Bitcoin Lightning Summit in El Salvador

A sold out summit

The Adopting Bitcoin Lightning Summit last week exceeded all expectations. As Pablo Fernandez put it, “I’ve heard from multiple people that this has been the most bitcoin conference they’ve ever been to. Massive success!”

The summit brought together more than 700 attendees and 75 speakers from all over the world to share and debate ideas about Lightning development and Bitcoin adoption. Tweets containing #Adopt21 were shared more than 40,000 times and reached 5 million people!

A country is onboard but we have work to do

Co-host and Galoy co-founder Nicolas Burtey opened the Dev track by highlighting the moment he knew a 2021 Lightning Summit in El Salvador was needed. In August 2021, with La Ley Bitcoin only six months from going into effect, he realized that companies and institutions in El Salvador were facing an uphill battle in regards to Bitcoin and Lightning education and infrastructure development. Nicolas, Hunter and Moritz jumped into action to plan the summit and refocus the attention of Bitcoin and Lightning communities on El Salvador.

Chris Hunter’s opening remarks, which landed on the cover of Diario El Salvador, set the stage for the sessions to come. “This opportunity is not once in a lifetime…” Hunter shared. “It is once in a species.”

Video recordings of the sessions will be made available over the coming weeks. Until then, below is a recap of notable talks and announcements made at Adopting Bitcoin 2021.

Full support of El Salvador government

On the beginning of day 1, Minister of Economy El Salvador María Luisa Hayem Brevé made it clear that El Salvador is proud and committed to Bitcoin adoption and education.

Hayem Brevé shared that the Salvadoran government sees Bitcoin as part of a digital transformation for the country which will bring jobs and improve the quality of life for its citizens.

On day two, Tech & Econ International Affairs Director for El Salvador Monica Taher shared her vision for Bitcoin adoption in El Salvador and beyond. She even provided a peek behind the scenes, telling attendees “Immediately after the introduction of the #Bitcoin law, we founded a WhatsApp group with government representatives from other countries. […] We are all developing in the same direction.”

The world is watching 👀

The summit was attended and followed by people from all around the world. A mix of founders, developers, policy advisors, investors and educators gathered to discuss how and where Bitcoin can empower financial inclusion around the world.

In the session titled “Paving the way for Bitcoin Adoption in South America,” host Camila Campton was joined by Gaelsan Sanchez Smith, Jehudi Castro and Carlos Miguel Rivas Carillo. They shared perspective and insight into the path forward for South American countries, and opined on El Salvador’s Adoption. As Rivas Carillo shared; “When the United States sneezes, El Salvador gets sick. Making Bitcoin legal tender allows El Salvador to be more independent of movements of the United States.”

Announcements from Blockstream, Synonym, OKcoin, New Story

Bitcoin companies and nonprofits came out in full force with new product and project announcements.

Blockstream announced PeerSwap, a method for doing on-chain swap with your peers. Nicolas captured some key slides from the presentation in the thread below.

John Carvalho unveiled his stealth mode company with the launch of Synonym. He shared a strategy & ecosystem of products that will empower Bitcoiners to opt into an entirely alternative social economy.

Hong Fang shared growth stats and user insights, culminating with an announcement that OKcoin is launching an option for its users to make “Sats the Standard.”

New Story, a non-profit using innovation to end homelessness, announced it is building 200 homes in El Zonte and enabling Bitcoin mortgage payments via the Bitcoin Beach Wallet (through partnership with Galoy). The project broke ground just days before the conference started.

 

Lightning developers are paving the road to mass adoption

Bitcoin and Lightning developers took to the DEV track stage to highlight challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as we look to bring Bitcoin to billions. Lightning development topics were covered from many angles from privacy to protocol development to the developer experience.

Conor Okus introduced the Bitcoin Dev Kit (BDK) and Lightning Dev Kit (LDK). These open source projects are designed to make it faster and easier to build Bitcoin wallets and integrate Lightning.

Bastien Teinturier of ACINQ provided a dive into UTXO and payment privacy in the Lightning Network.

Jonas Nick of Blockstream explained how Taproot contributes to decentralization. View Jonas’s slides.

Galoy’s own Justin Carter introduced devs to the Galoy tech stack and showcased how to build a Bitcoin Bank.

Day 3 in Bitcoin Beach

Day three of the summit took place in El Zonte, the mecca of Bitcoin adoption. Attendees descended on the small beachside town to meet and support the people who made it all possible. Jorge, Chimbera and the whole Bitcoin Beach community welcomed us with open arms.

 

Crazy things happen when you bring Bitcoiners together

During the middle of the summit, President Bukele announced a Saturday evening party to cap off Bitcoin week. He gathered Bitcoiners together from Adopting Bitcoin and LABITCONF to introduce Bitcoin City!

The Adopting Bitcoin and Galoy teams held a Twitter Space on Saturday morning to recap the event and reflect on the historic week.

 

What’s next?

Over the coming weeks we will be releasing video from each of the Adopting Bitcoin presentations. Make sure to follow @adoptingBTC and @galoymoney on twitter and subscribe to our newsletter.

We’ve also announced that there will be an Adopting Bitcoin Lightning Summit in 2022! Due to the fantastic job of organizers led by Noor and Kemal, we’ve seen too much momentum and excitement to make this a one-time event. Stay tuned for details.

Header photo credit: @BitcoinRunners

 

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