6 Sept 2021
El Salvador Making Bitcoin an Official Currency Amid anti-Bitcoin Protests
The Index Today
El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has announced to make Bitcoin an official currency. The plan has been ongoing for three months and has now reached its execution stage. The Bitcoin legal tender law is expected to come into effect from this Tuesday.
The tender law which was revealed at a convention in Miami on the 5th of June will help improve and transform El Salvador’s economy. The new currency is expected to help build local businesses, acquire global investment and improve overall quality of life for Salvadorans.
However, the plan has not come without hurdles. Locals have expressed concerns over the new law and have said they do not understand how the law will affect them. Banks and rating agencies have also said the new law could risk IMF lending talks and hurt local insurers. The Bitcoin currency could cause an impact on the Bitcoin network and jeopardize global finance.
The laws implementation date has been labeled as the “B-Day” and is expected to face increasing opposition. The nation is seeing widespread protests where pensioners have come forward to display concerns over pension payouts which could be disrupted by the new crypto-asset.
Protestors have also said the new law could worsen the problem of money laundering in El Salvador where corruption is high. According to a recent poll, 75% of citizens are unsure about the law whereas the others had no clue about it.
Nayib Bukele’s original bill shows that businesses will be required to accept Bitcoin as a currency as long as they have the technological means. The president has further stated that the opposition is clumsy and mainly consists of liars who will be exposed soon after the law is implemented. Bukele has assured all civilians worried about their pensions or businesses can still continue to trade in USD as Bitcoin will not be made mandatory for everyone.
The government has set up Bitcoin ATM’s that can be used with a digital wallet called Chivo. Various commercials are being televised to help the general public gain understanding of the new crypto currency.
Supporters of Crypto currency including Mario Gomez Lozada, CEO of Powetrade, are standing strong with the presidents new law as the believe it will help progress the economy. Bitcoin is believed to be a relief for people who pay high remittance fees as the new crypto currency will allow transfer of money with no fee attached.