By Abdul Kimera
On Tuesday September 7, El Salvador went on record as the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin cryptocurrency as legal tender replacing the U.S. dollar that was currently used.
The central American country’s congress approved and allocated $150million to help with adoption of the cryptocurrency and ordered all businesses in El Salvador to accept Bitcoin unless they lack technology.
With the introduction of this digital wallet for Bitcoin payments, the president Nayib Bukele said that adopting it will save the country $400million annually in remittances.
Any citizen who downloads the app will receive $30 worth of Bitcoin, he added amidst wows of risks of corruption and organized crime from critics.
Many nationals including those living in the capital San Salvador have protested against the adoption of Bitcoin with concerns about volatility since the country’s dollar and cryptocurrency will be set by the world market.
Protesters burnt tires and set off fireworks chanting that the currency is ideal for big investors and that it is not going to benefit those with small traditional local businesses like the Pupasas and shopkeepers.
Though Chivo ATMs were already installed around the city for swift transfers of Bitcoin, majority of nationals still oppose the law claiming that it is so infamous, they never had a say in it and that they are likely to lose money when prices drop.
Two years into his tenure as the nation’s leader, Bukele’s presidency now will be defined by how well his plan from June will work out, as his political opponents have now started questioning his commitment to governing with transparency and protecting democracy.