Wherever your crypto sympathies lie, it can sometimes seem as if nation-states adopting bitcoin as legal tender has been overlooked as a news story.

It was back in September of 2021 that El Salvador took this step, adopting bitcoin while keeping the US dollar as its other medium of  exchange  . All businesses in El Salvador are now required by law to accept bitcoin as payment.

Perhaps the timing affected coverage, with the Central American state’s actions taking place during an unprecedented cascade of anomalous behavior on a global scale, centered first around covid-19, with focus then shifting to the war in Ukraine.

Against this backdrop, the economic experiments of a poverty-stricken Central American nation did not feature highly on the news agenda, and the same was true when the Central African Republic followed El Salvador’s lead on bitcoin last month.

How about this week, though, when central bankers and financial authorities' representatives from 44 countries met in El Salvador to discuss financial inclusion, within which bitcoin and its use in the host country are key topics.

The countries represented are developing nations for whom finding a new way to integrate the unbanked is a high priority social and economic issue. Such countries do not have the luxury of writing off potential solutions simply because they might displease establishment opinion.

The conference in El Salvador indicates that stories of genuine real-world  bitcoin  adoption may be shifting up a gear, regardless of who is or isn’t paying attention. Or perhaps, the narrative was a slow burner all along, overlooked at first, or outright dismissed, but increasingly impossible to ignore.

The story is not yet at the stage where the majority around the world are aware of what may, conceivably be starting to take place, but we could be on course towards changes that will demand attention.

There is a connected parallel to what is taking place, as this unfolding arc echoes the trajectory that bitcoin itself has taken in wider discourse, moving step by step from ignorance, through derision, to curiosity, and ultimately, in progressive stages at various levels, comprehension and the beginnings of acceptance.

When searching for media coverage of El Salvador and its bitcoin policy, a clear division becomes apparent, and there is very little common ground. Within the traditional, legacy media, any indicator that can be used to back up the argument that nation-state bitcoin adoption is, simply, a bad thing, is picked up on and amplified, and the adoption story is presented negatively.

Again, there are parallels to be drawn, as this attitude echoes the position that was taken by the traditional financial establishment towards bitcoin, not as an adopted currency, but simply for existing at all. That attitude, by the way, is now shifting significantly in a positive direction as institutional recognition advances.

In the other media camp, alternative sources who have always championed bitcoin, and provide educational content on why they champion it, are presenting a positive case for nation-state adoption, and are shining a light on how El Salvador’s remarkable gambit can work.

When the divide in coverage is so stark, it can be difficult for a curious observer who is not well versed in the ins and outs of the subject to get a handle on which take is more accurate. In this case, it makes sense to zoom out from the internal story arc (nation-state bitcoin adoption) to the wider encompassing arc (bitcoin itself) and ask which commentators have better grasped and more accurately conveyed the direction in which bitcoin has been heading.

It is not overly critical of the media establishment to observe that for many years, its coverage of bitcoin has not provided a clear picture of the path along which bitcoin is advancing. In fact, with exceptions, coverage has often been not simply depthless, but outright hostile.

With that in mind, it should come as no surprise if those same media organizations look at what is occurring in a place like El Salvador and present an entirely unfavorable picture. Up to now, this keeps up with their approach when it comes to all things bitcoin.

The smart thing to do, then, would be to pick up on trend lines. If an organization has taken a position on a topic, been consistently wide of the mark and continues to maintain that position when the topic in question breaks new territory, then we are probably better off assuming the counter-position is more instructive.

When it comes down to it, bitcoin pushes forward regardless of whether or not it has media coverage, or what tone any coverage might choose to project.

Bitcoin maxis like to say that bitcoin is inevitable. Whether or not that is true, we’ll see, but logic is inevitable, while media obstinacy is observably ever-present. What’s further apparent, is that the latter of those things makes no difference to the former.

There is another phrase that bitcoin advocates like to use, which can neatly encompass everything taking place now and over the last decade, and indicates what might happen in the future: gradually and then suddenly.

Wherever your crypto sympathies lie, it can sometimes seem as if nation-states adopting bitcoin as legal tender has been overlooked as a news story.

It was back in September of 2021 that El Salvador took this step, adopting bitcoin while keeping the US dollar as its other medium of  exchange  . All businesses in El Salvador are now required by law to accept bitcoin as payment.

Perhaps the timing affected coverage, with the Central American state’s actions taking place during an unprecedented cascade of anomalous behavior on a global scale, centered first around covid-19, with focus then shifting to the war in Ukraine.

Against this backdrop, the economic experiments of a poverty-stricken Central American nation did not feature highly on the news agenda, and the same was true when the Central African Republic followed El Salvador’s lead on bitcoin last month.

How about this week, though, when central bankers and financial authorities' representatives from 44 countries met in El Salvador to discuss financial inclusion, within which bitcoin and its use in the host country are key topics.

The countries represented are developing nations for whom finding a new way to integrate the unbanked is a high priority social and economic issue. Such countries do not have the luxury of writing off potential solutions simply because they might displease establishment opinion.

The conference in El Salvador indicates that stories of genuine real-world  bitcoin  adoption may be shifting up a gear, regardless of who is or isn’t paying attention. Or perhaps, the narrative was a slow burner all along, overlooked at first, or outright dismissed, but increasingly impossible to ignore.

The story is not yet at the stage where the majority around the world are aware of what may, conceivably be starting to take place, but we could be on course towards changes that will demand attention.

There is a connected parallel to what is taking place, as this unfolding arc echoes the trajectory that bitcoin itself has taken in wider discourse, moving step by step from ignorance, through derision, to curiosity, and ultimately, in progressive stages at various levels, comprehension and the beginnings of acceptance.

When searching for media coverage of El Salvador and its bitcoin policy, a clear division becomes apparent, and there is very little common ground. Within the traditional, legacy media, any indicator that can be used to back up the argument that nation-state bitcoin adoption is, simply, a bad thing, is picked up on and amplified, and the adoption story is presented negatively.

Again, there are parallels to be drawn, as this attitude echoes the position that was taken by the traditional financial establishment towards bitcoin, not as an adopted currency, but simply for existing at all. That attitude, by the way, is now shifting significantly in a positive direction as institutional recognition advances.

In the other media camp, alternative sources who have always championed bitcoin, and provide educational content on why they champion it, are presenting a positive case for nation-state adoption, and are shining a light on how El Salvador’s remarkable gambit can work.

When the divide in coverage is so stark, it can be difficult for a curious observer who is not well versed in the ins and outs of the subject to get a handle on which take is more accurate. In this case, it makes sense to zoom out from the internal story arc (nation-state bitcoin adoption) to the wider encompassing arc (bitcoin itself) and ask which commentators have better grasped and more accurately conveyed the direction in which bitcoin has been heading.

It is not overly critical of the media establishment to observe that for many years, its coverage of bitcoin has not provided a clear picture of the path along which bitcoin is advancing. In fact, with exceptions, coverage has often been not simply depthless, but outright hostile.

With that in mind, it should come as no surprise if those same media organizations look at what is occurring in a place like El Salvador and present an entirely unfavorable picture. Up to now, this keeps up with their approach when it comes to all things bitcoin.

The smart thing to do, then, would be to pick up on trend lines. If an organization has taken a position on a topic, been consistently wide of the mark and continues to maintain that position when the topic in question breaks new territory, then we are probably better off assuming the counter-position is more instructive.

When it comes down to it, bitcoin pushes forward regardless of whether or not it has media coverage, or what tone any coverage might choose to project.

Bitcoin maxis like to say that bitcoin is inevitable. Whether or not that is true, we’ll see, but logic is inevitable, while media obstinacy is observably ever-present. What’s further apparent, is that the latter of those things makes no difference to the former.

There is another phrase that bitcoin advocates like to use, which can neatly encompass everything taking place now and over the last decade, and indicates what might happen in the future: gradually and then suddenly.