The decision facing bitcoin advocates now may be more complex. El Salvador is a valuable testing ground for the digital currency, but if El Faro’s findings are true it seems clear the Bukele administration can no longer be considered a trustworthy partner. Beyond the simple ethics of supporting a regime that seeks antidemocratic methods of repressing its critics, the bitcoin community must be vigilant about public perception, given the continued widespread hostility towards cryptocurrency. A leader willing to use black-ops spyware against his own citizens is not an acceptable figurehead for spreading bitcoin adoption.

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