Against the wishes of the IMF and the World Bank, El Salvador did the unimaginable on September 7, making Bitcoin legal tender – a move that has enraged a segment of the country’s population, particularly because it is perceived as not being for ordinary people. El Salvador made history by becoming the first country to recognize Bitcoin as a legal tender in the world.
El Salvador’s acceptance of Bitcoin is accelerating, with the President reporting that 1.1 million Salvadorans had downloaded the app as of Friday, September 17, 2021. Given that Bitcoin only became legal tender in the country on September 7, 2021, these figures are quite impressive.
1.1 millones de salvadoreños ya utilizan @chivowallet (y aún no hemos habilitado el 65% de los modelos de teléfono).
Parece que lograremos bancarizar más personas en 1 mes, de lo que hicieron con nacionalizaciones y privatizaciones de la banca tradicional en 40 años.#Bitcoin🇸🇻
— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) September 18, 2021
El Salvador’s President, Nayib Bukele, provides an update on the Chivo Wallet, the government’s Bitcoin app. El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, updated on the acceptance of the country’s newly launched Bitcoin app, Chivo Wallet. Over 1.6 Million Salvadorans Now Using Bitcoin Chivo Wallet and gained access to BTC as informed by the president through a tweet.
1.6 millones de salvadoreños ya utilizan @chivowallet 🥳
— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) September 20, 2021
Many citizens still have trust issues despite the growth. For the time being, many Salvadorans do not trust bitcoin, with the majority of people – 70% – stating that they do not want to use Bitcoin for everyday transactions. President Bukele defied the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank by declaring Bitcoin legal money, despite the IMF’s fears about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies becoming national currencies.
Over 1.6 million El Salvadorans now having access to a Bitcoin-based savings account. This is enormous, especially considering the little country’s population of 6,525,831. Almost a quarter of the population of El Salvador has now become banked.
President Nayib Bukele recently announced that the Central American country purchased 150 bitcoins over the weekend, valued at almost $6.7 million at current market rates. He made the announcement on Sunday night, shortly after the bitcoin price dropped from $48,000 to $46,000.
El Salvador is leading the road for other countries to embrace Bitcoin, with Cuba and Ukraine becoming the first to recognize and regulate cryptocurrencies.
Whether Salvadorans will embrace Bitcoin, in the end, remains to be seen, but further progress in education is required, necessitating collaboration between the commercial sector and government.
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