Miss El Salvador, Alexjandra Guajardo Sada walks onstage during the 71st Miss Universe Competition National Costume show at New Orleans Morial Convention Center on January 11, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Image: Josh Brasted/Getty Images
Alejandra Guajardo, an actress and model, represented El Salvador in the Miss Universe 2022 pageant, where she wore a costume that featured Bitcoin as she walked across the stage.
On January 12th, Alejandra Guajardo posted on her Instagram account and tagged Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele, showing a photo of herself walking with a large colón currency adorned with cocoa beans strapped to her back. She also carried a staff with a large physical Bitcoin on top of it in her hand.
The Miss Universe announcer stated that the costume worn by Guajardo represents El Salvador's history of currency. They explained that cocoa was used as a currency in the past, followed by the colón, and eventually replaced by the US dollar.
They also mentioned that in 2021, El Salvador became the very first nation to use Bitcoin as legal tender and that the costume was a representation of that.
In the Miss Universe pageant, 16 contestants will move on to the semifinals after the preliminary competition. Eighty-four countries are represented in the 2022 event.
Guajardo's walk across the stage in New Orleans came after El Salvador's legislature approved a bill that aims to establish a framework for Bitcoin-backed bonds. Pro-crypto lawmakers in the country have suggested using these bonds to pay off sovereign debt and finance the building of a Bitcoin City.
The costume worn by Guajardo was designed by plastic artist Francisco Guerrero, and it featured BTC at the front, possibly symbolising the future of currency in El Salvador.
It is uncertain if the government or President Nayib Bukele played a role in promoting the crypto to the global audience. Bukele has used his Twitter account to report several BTC purchases following El Salvador's adoption of the crypto asset as legal tender in September 2021.
The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash