Bitcoin is rapidly establishing itself as legal tender in El Salvador. In just one week of circulation, there are already more than 500,000 Salvadorans who use the so-called Chivo wallet, which allows them to carry out transactions with the cryptocurrency.
The government of Nayib Bukele has been the first country in the world to legalize bitcoin, as a means to boost the economy of the Central American country. 200 ATMs have been installed in El Salvador and another 50 in different cities in the United States. But what does the population think? Are you for or against this monetary revolution?
“If I get paid on that, who’s going to change it for me?”
Until recently, bitcoin was largely unknown to Salvadoran merchants. They wondered uneasily how it worked and what its real value was. Rosa, a shop owner, tells us about her experience.
“At first, I did not fear, I had mistrust, because who was going to change me? Sand I charged with that, who was going to change me in cash? But I asked and then they explained to me who was going to change it and then I started charging with bitcoin“.
Its use “will bring profits”, says a barber
Jorge García has a barber shop. He believes that its use will bring benefits to the country. “The currency has a future. We believe that with this implementation that the Government will use it in the country, its value will rise and that will generate higher profits“, he opines.
“This is a scam coming”
But bitcoin also has its detractors. Some are concerned about its volatility. Maribel, a street vendor, is concerned about her intangibility.
“I don’t like that, I don’t accept it for a moment,” Maribel says. I like that they ask me how much I have sold and that I take out the roll of billsand say: look, here is the roll of bills and I see my money, how much I have sold. This is a scam that is coming, it is a robbery, I don’t like that. ”
Protesters opposed to President Bukele and his monetary project have taken to the streets, shouting “No to bitcoin.”
“The irregularity with which this currency is handled It leads us to a very complicated situation, so we are demanding the repeal of this law, “explains a protester.
“I believe that what Bukele seeks to do relying on his power as a dictator it’s the robbery of the century“, says another.
Transfers from abroad without expenses or commissions
One of the advantages that the Salvadoran government sees in cryptocurrency is the possibility of making bank transfers from abroad without paying expenses or commissions, taking into account that the money sent to the country by the Salvadoran diaspora, installed mainly in the United States, represents the 22 percent of the country’s GDP.
Time will tell whether or not the Salvadoran monetary revolution is a brilliant idea. The first day of legal circulation of bitcoin in El Salvador was marked by a loss of 17% of its value against the dollar.