Welcome to The Ask, where each week Crypto Investor interviews essential voices doing the work to make crypto 'mainstream.' Exchange lightly edited.

This week, senior reporter Stacy Elliott spoke to Roshun Patel, vice president of institutional lending at Genesis. After joining the firm in 2018, Patel has helped grow the lending business to more than $9 billion in active outstanding loans. You can find him on Twitter at @RoshunPatel. The exchange has been lightly edited for clarity.

How are you expecting this to play out with Bitcoin being introduced in El Salvador. Keeping in mind, of course, we don't have much of a precedent because this is the first country that's doing it.

roshun-patel

Patel: I’m thinking, OK, it's a completely new concept of legal tender for the official government out there. I think, as it stands right now, there's some controversy around how it's implemented. You know, there's some good resources on this. Nic Carter has expressed concern over article seven, which basically says every economic agent must accept Bitcoin as payment when offered to them by whoever acquires a good or service. So sort of coercively forcing it on certain businesses.

Granted, there’s article 12, which says if you do not have access to the technologies are not obligated to accept Bitcoin transactions. If it's forced legal tender and forced to be taken everywhere, I don't know if that's necessarily good. But overall, broadly speaking, what it means from like (an) asset class perspective and just general adoption – I think it's pretty good and promising.

What kind of metrics do you think we should be keeping an eye on to gauge how well this is playing out in El Salvador?

Patel: El Salvador, on their balance sheet, only has something like 400 Bitcoin. And that’s not necessarily taking into account how many transactions will occur in the country. In terms of on-chain public metrics to look at to see how it’s going … I think looking at the El Salvador market is going to be tough to figure out. You would have to know which addresses are linked to El Salvadoran businesses and then, maybe, you can extract out some sort of insight into how much has been transacting there.

If the government were to put the data out, you know, that's obviously an easy way to track it. But to track it without the government support will be a little bit more difficult. And then I think the more interesting way to track it is to look at whether similar nations start adopting similar concepts or ideas. That would be less quantitative but would show a domino effect playing out.

Several reports have cited business owners in El Salvador who are tepid on adoption because they don’t have wide margins. They worry price fluctuations will get in the way of covering operating expenses. Do you think Bitcoin is a good currency for small businesses that have those kinds of concerns?

Patel: I think that that's more of a software challenge. Bitcoin should be used as just the settlement layer. If a business owner needs to convert Bitcoin to a stable dollar value, and then use that to purchase gas, that should be able to be done quickly. And there are companies out there that have built pretty good platforms that do this.

So, I'd hope that the integration there occurs and those kinds of companies come in – whether it's the public government or the private sector – to solve these issues now that businesses need to take Bitcoin as legal tender. 

Welcome to The Ask, where each week Crypto Investor interviews essential voices doing the work to make crypto 'mainstream.' Exchange lightly edited.

This week, senior reporter Stacy Elliott spoke to Roshun Patel, vice president of institutional lending at Genesis. After joining the firm in 2018, Patel has helped grow the lending business to more than $9 billion in active outstanding loans. You can find him on Twitter at @RoshunPatel. The exchange has been lightly edited for clarity.

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