Honduras Establishes Bitcoin Valley in Santa Lucia to Boost Crypto Opportunities

Honduras has entered the cryptocurrency trend after launching “Bitcoin Valley” in Santa Lucia meant to spur more opportunities in the digital asset space, according to Reuters. 

As a result, the tourist town of Santa Lucia has shifted to a Bitcoin city because business owners are adopting crypto payments to boost tourism.


Cesar Andino, the manager of Los Robles shopping square, pointed out:

“It will open more opportunities and attract more people who want to use this currency.”

Santa Lucia is strategically located because it is just 20 minutes from the nation’s capital Tegucugalpa.


The “Bitcoin Valley” project was jointly developed by Santa Lucia’s municipality, the Technological University of Honduras, the Guatemalan cryptocurrency exchange consortium Coincaex, and the Blockchain Honduras organization. 


Therefore, the initiative will initially target 60 businesses to be trained about cryptocurrencies and how to use them as marketing tools for their services and products. The project is expected to be rolled out to more enterprises in Santa Lucia and nearby areas. 


Ruben Carbajal Velazquez, a professor at the Technological University, welcomed the “Bitcoin Valley” concept and said:

“Santa Lucia’s community will be educated to use and manage cryptocurrencies, implementing them in different businesses in the region and generating crypto-tourism.”

Since El Salvador accepted Bitcoin as legal tender in September last year, crypto interest in Latin America has soared.


For instance, a recent study by Mastercard disclosed that more than 50% of consumers in Latin America were participating in crypto transactions. The payments giant pointed out:

“51% of consumers in the region have already made a transaction with crypto assets, and more than a third say they have made a payment for an everyday purchase with stablecoin.”

Therefore, Latin Americans see cutting-edge technologies like crypto as an ideal payment option.

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Bitcoin Becomes Legal Tender in Honduran Special Economic Zone

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have become legal tender in a special economic zone on an island on Honduras’ Caribbean coast, officials said.

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The tourist-centric island – named “Honduras Prospera” – was established in 2020 to uplift investment. It has administrative, fiscal and budgetary autonomy.

“Prospera’s flexible regulatory framework enables crypto-innovation and the use of Bitcoin by residents, businesses, and governments,” Honduras Prospera said in a statement.

According to Reuters, the economic zone will also allow municipalities, local governments and global firms to issue bitcoin bonds from the area’s jurisdiction.

Honduras Prospera covers parts of the picturesque Roatan island as well as the city of La Ceiba on Honduras’ Atlantic Coast.

Meanwhile, neighbouring country El Salvador adopted bitcoin as legal tender in September last year. In doing so, El Salvador became the first country to do so even though the roll-out was bumpy and people were sceptical about it.

However, Honduras’ Central Bank does not vouch for crypto transactions. The bank said in a March statement that “any transaction carried out with this type of virtual asset falls under the responsibility and risk of the person carrying it out.”

In August last year, Honduras received its first crypto ATM.

Blockchain.News reported that TGU Consulting Group, a firm based in Honduras, installed the first Bitcoin ATM in an office tower in Tegucigalpa, the city and capital of Honduras.

The report added that the crypto ATM, locally dubbed “la bitcoinera,” allows users to buy Bitcoin and Ethereum using “Honduran lempira,” the local currency of Honduras. Crypto users will have to scan official identification and input personal data such as phone numbers to buy cryptocurrencies through the ATM.

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As Bitcoin debuts in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala study CBDCs

Two Central American countries, Honduras and Guatemala, are taking a cue from their common neighbor’s adoption of Bitcoin (BTC), but they are taking a very different road. 

Instead of embracing an existing cryptocurrency as a legal tender, like what El Salvador did, the central banks of Honduras and Guatemala are currently studying central bank digital currencies or CBDCs.

Following the approval of the board of directors, the Central Bank of Honduras kicked off a study “to determine the feasibility of conducting a pilot test issuing its own digital money or a central bank digital currency,” according to Honduras central bank president Wilfredo Cerrato’s remarks at a forum event in Tegucigalpa.

He said that the Central American Monetary Council or Consejo Monetario Centroamericano, the highest monetary authority in the region, should address the adoption of digital currencies.

In the northwestern corner of the region, the CBDC even has a name. Banco de Guatemala vice president Jose Alfredo Blanco said the digital currency — iQuetzal — would be named after the national bird of Guatemala, just like its fiat currency.

Related: Roxe hires ex-IMF economist to lead Bitcoin-backed CBDC project

However, the central banks are not eager to integrate a new form of currency into their existing financial system without preparation. Blanco stressed that the committee to work on a central bank digital currency had been formed only six months ago, and it will take a long time to complete the investigation phase.

Central bank digital currencies have been gaining traction and interest in countries around the world. Nigeria’s CBDC, the eNaira, is set to launch on Oct. 1, on the country’s 61st Independence Day. The Ukrainian government is also moving forward with its CBDC plans by giving the National Bank of Ukraine authority to issue a digital currency.