December 17, 2014 Print

Fifteen years ago, the people of Ecuador began abandoning their rapidly depreciating currency and adopted the U.S. dollar as the official currency instead. Last month, Atlas Network partner the Ecuadorian Institute for Political Economy (IEEP), whose leaders played a part in the dollarization process, hosted an international conference to celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the country’s dollarization and the monetary stability that has come as a result.

Held at the Ramada Hotel in Guayaquil, 220 people attended the first day of activities, which included panels discussing the road toward dollarization in Ecuador and how the economy has improved in the years since dollarization was adopted in Ecuador. On the second day, a panel was held titled “Sound Money and Monetary Stability,” featuring Professor Lawrence H. White of George Mason University, a renowned monetary economist.

This conference was important because of its timeliness, held as President Rafael Correa of Ecuador began flirting with the idea of creating a state controlled crypto-currency that would run parallel to the dollar, effectively undermining the 15 years of sound monetary policy that dollarization has brought to Ecuador. Aside from receiving media attention from Ecuador’s two largest newspapers, the conference was attended by university students, academics, business leaders, military personnel, and social media activists.