El Salvador has commenced the construction of the Pacifico Airport, also known as the Bitcoin City Airport (BCA), after receiving all required permits. The heavy machinery is now clearing the ground for the future terminal, the Spanish-speaking crypto website Criptonoticias.com reported citing local news outlets. The "beta phase" of the project, scheduled for completion within two years, has received $73 million of financing. The total development cost is estimated at $350 million.
The BCA is part of a much bigger enterprise known as the Bitcoin City, announced in May 2022 by Nayib Bukele, the president of El Salvador. The project aims to create a smart city with a Bitcoin-powered economy, the first of its kind worldwide. The crypto utopia, which is to emerge in Conchagua (La Unión), will be financed by mining and selling cryptocurrency, leveraging clean energy, one of El Salvador's natural assets.
The country is powered chiefly by green sources: hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass, photovoltaic, and wind. Nevertheless, the Bitcoin City project has been criticized for its alleged environmental impact related to "the waste of energy" and intruding on wildlife habitats and migratory corridors.
Another source of revenue expected to fund the BCA development are foreign investments. El Salvador plans to attract capital with crypto assets and bonds. The Salvadorean government's ambition is to raise $1 billion from the so-called "Volcano bonds" (the moniker refers to the nearby volcanoes from which the geothermal energy will be sourced) to finance the project.
The bar is set high, but according to a recent statement from El Salvador's US Ambassador, Milena Mayorga, interviewed by Javier Bastardo, a contributor to Forbes, crypto companies are keenly interested in moving their businesses to the Latin American "promised land" of the web3 economy.
All in all, the future looks bright – at least the one imagined by president Bukele. The Bitcoin City is to be nearly tax-free, energetically sustainable, pollutant-free, and super-modern.