Mexico’s billionaire and the third-richest man in the country, Ricardo Salinas Pliego, recently decided to visit El Salvador, following the country’s decision to recognize Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender. Pliego, himself a major Bitcoin supporter, was interested in seeing how the crypto situation had progressed after the country adopted BTC in September 2021.
Mexico’s Billionaire in El Salvador
Pliego has been interested in Bitcoin for quite a while. He has criticized fiat money in the past, calling it “fake money made of paper and lies,” while praising Bitcoin as a decentralized cryptocurrency. He continues to encourage people to stay away from fiat currencies–such as the dollar, euro, peso, and others–and invest in crypto.
Now that Bitcoin has become an officially recognized currency in El Salvador (for a little over six months), Mexico’s billionaire has decided to see for himself how it actually works. Pliego has been posting tweets in order to update his followers about his visit.
He also met with El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, another major Bitcoin advocate who pushed for Bitcoin’s adoption in his country. The two exchanged gifts upon meeting in the presidential house: Pliego gifted Bukele with “The first map of Mexico,” while Bukele’s gift to Pliego was 1 BTC and a physical Bitcoin coin that represents the digital version.
Apart from gifts, the two also exchanged ideas and thoughts on the cryptocurrency industry, along with the freedom that it brings. The Mexican billionaire called Bitcoin the “currency of freedom,” stating that this kind of freedom will be necessary for people to evolve as a civilization.
Pliego’s visit has seemingly been a big success, and his tweets indicate that he is quite pleased with the “learning and growth” that came out of it. Furthermore, he seems to be particularly impressed with El Salvador’s president, whom he described as a futurist.
Pliego and Bitcoin
Ricardo Salinas Pliego is well known as a leading businessman and entrepreneur. He is the founder of the Grupo Salinas — a corporate conglomerate formed 21 years ago that consists of Grupo Elektra and TV Azteca. The group also has an internet service provider of its own, and even a football club.
Pliego’s net worth (as of 2022) is estimated to be at $12.9 billion, which earns him the position of 166th richest individual in the world.
Pliego has deep reservations regarding fiat currencies and the financial institutions that control it. For example, in December 2021, he criticized the central banks for printing more money than ever, and he even accused central banks and governments of creating inflation to weaken consumer purchasing power.
This is why he sees the crypto industry, primarily Bitcoin, as the best possible alternative to centrally controlled currencies. He has been a staunch advocate for the usage of BTC and continues to encourage people to rely on BTC as much as possible.
Many expect the consequences of money printing during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic to emerge in the form of a strong inflationary wave that will cripple the US dollar.