Bitcoin 2022 organizers shared a statement in which Nayib Bukele, the crypto-friendly president of El Salvador, explains that due to “unforeseen circumstances” which require his “full time presence”, he won’t be able to attend the conference.
Bukele was scheduled as one of the most high-profile attendees. Last year, at Bitcoin 2021, he made headlines with a video address announcing his intention to make Bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador. Bukele delivered on his promise in September 2021.
In the statement informing of his absence this year, Bukele said he had been hoping to drop another announcement, which he called “another small contribution in our fight for the liberation of money.”
Bukele did not specify the circumstances that kept him home, but it’s no secret that El Salvador is in a state of emergency following an outburst of violence that left 87 dead. Bukele blamed the attacks on the transnational MS-13 gang. Since then, the government suspended constitutional rights, including the presumption of innocence, and arrested over 7,000 people.