The Central American country of Guatemala is getting ink on its way to adopting more bitcoin merchants.
Its use is increasing in Guatemala. The Latin American country bordering El Salvador boasts several bitcoin beach-inspired projects including bitcoin companies that have sprung up in Guatemala such as Ibex and Osmo, bitcoin lakes and now, free BTC tattoos
In 2022, a bitcoin merchant endorsement contest hosted by Osmo Wallet — a Guatemala-based bitcoin company — promoted free ink. Cointelegraph spoke to Piero Coen, co-founder of Osmo Wallet, and Steven Marroquin, owner of Sol’s Anchor, a tattoo parlor in Guatemala.
Free tattoo ideas from Soul Anchor. Source: Piero Coen
Coen explained how the mission is to get more people to use bitcoin:
“So we ran a competition among merchants to see who could process the highest volume in bitcoin sales in 2022. It turned out that Sol’s anchor tattoo shop in Guatemala, which accepted bitcoin payments using OsmoBusiness back in October started doing it, didn’t win this competition.”
Commercial adoptions are not new in Guatemala. So they figured out how to make things more exciting. They decided that offering free bitcoin tattoos to customers could be a bitcoin-friendly marketing strategy. “It was a big hit,” Coen explained. All slots filled for hours!”
Free bitcoin tattoos get a thumbs up from Beeman of Cointelgraph. Source: Coen
Guatemalan bitcoin believers and bitcoin tourists entered the store to ink their favorite bitcoin memes, quotes or art onto their skin. “We’ve been officially accepting Bitcoin for seven months now, and we have two to three customers every month,” explained Marroquin, owner of Soles Anchor. It’s a small amount, but payments are increasing, he reports:
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“In the first few months we only had one customer, although it’s still a few percent, maybe 1% of our revenue, and we’re glad we’re starting to acknowledge that.”
Coen explains that it is “still super early” for bitcoin adoption in Guatemala and that “most business owners are still unsure about accepting and holding bitcoin due to volatility”.
Merchant payments can sidestep volatility by allowing instant Bitcoin to currency fiat conversion at the merchant terminal. Instant BTC to fiat conversion is a growing trend in the bitcoin payments space, as companies like Strike — led by Jack Mallers — and offer solutions like Coincorner Bitcoin is growing as a means of exchange and coen about its future The optimists are:
“Bitcoin adoption in Guatemala is growing, and every day we see more and more people getting into it, learning about it and piling on the SATS.”
Ricky, one half of a pair of bitcoin explorers who lived only in El Salvador with bitcoin, recently traveled around Guatemala to pay their way with bitcoin. “The level of bitcoin adoption in Guatemala really surprised me,” Ricky told Cointelgraph, referring to himself and his partner Laura.
“Local people are curious, they want to learn about bitcoin and see it as an important alternative to credit cards for people in the country whose fees are too high.”
In fact, by adopting bitcoin, businesses can save more than 50% on transaction costs compared to credit card payments, “so the incentive is there,” Coen explained.
Related: As bitcoin launches in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, CBDC studies
Ricky added that the “orange peeling” efforts of Guatemalan companies like Ibex and Osmo are “pushing to raise awareness of this technology”. The pair also visited Bitcoin Lake, a Bitcoin Beach-style community project where a Guatemalan mayor is mining bitcoins in his office after he got himself inked as part of the promotion
“We thought the tattoo idea was very cute. This company wants to promote its business and reward its shopkeepers with the most bitcoin transactions”.
Bitcoin and crypto tattoos are becoming more and more common as crypto advocates brand themselves with their currency identity. However, crypto tattoos can be very, very messy sometimes.
Bitcoin tattoos of Ricky (above) and Laura (below). Source: Ricky
Take Galaxy Digital founder Mike Novogratz as an example. His Terra
Tattoos are a constant reminder that investing requires humility. LUNA tokens will crash over 99% in 2021. Fortunately, Bitcoin-tai