Nayib Bukele, El Salvador president, has claimed that 2.1 million citizens are using the new government-backed Chivo cryptocurrency wallet. In a tweet, he implied the apparent success of Bitcoin in the country.
El Salvador recently adopted bitcoin as a legal tender on September 7, 2021, being the first country to do so.
On Saturday afternoon, president Nayib Bukele shared this update with his 2.9 million Twitter followers. He claimed that Chivo “now has more users than any bank in El Salvador” after just three weeks in operation. He also said that despite Chivo not being a bank, it already has more users than any bank in El Salvador and that it is only a matter of time before the wallet’s adoption surpasses all banks in El Salvador combined.
2.1 million Salvadorans are ACTIVELY USING @chivowallet (not downloads).
Chivo is not a bank, but in less than 3 weeks, it now has more users than any bank in El Salvador and is moving fast to have more users that ALL BANKS IN EL SALVADOR combined.
This is wild!#Bitcoin🇸🇻
— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) September 25, 2021
El Salvador’s Chivo Wallet
The state-issued wallet launched in early September as El Salvador officially recognized Bitcoin as legal tender. Chivo enables individuals and businesses to send and receive payments in Bitcoin (BTC) or dollars (USD) from anywhere in the world. Merchants must offer the ability to use both currencies. However, some merchants saying they would rather lose sales than accept bitcoin payments.
Related Reading | El Salvador’s Chivo And Bitcoin Adoption In Mindblowing Facts And Stats
The wallet is available on both Android and Apple devices. Latin American cryptocurrency exchange Bitso is the core service provider for the Chivo wallet. There are now over 200 bitcoin ATMs in El Salvador, the third-largest number of ATMs after the U.S. and Canada.
President Bukele’s goal is 2.5 million Salvadorans, which is approximately 39% of the population. As an incentive, the government offers $30 in bitcoin when people download the wallet app.
Bitcoin Adoption In The Country
President Bukele’s latest update implies that the Bitcoin Law is being received positively by the citizens of El Salvador. However, many protestors have taken the streets to assert their disapproval.
As reported, some protesters even set fire to a brand-new Bitcoin machine, while others held signs reading “Bukele Dictator”. According to the protesters, the president is using authoritarian means to tighten his grip on power. They gathered in the capital San Salvador on the 200th anniversary of the country’s independence, with placards that read “No to Bitcoin” and “Respect the Constitution”.
BTC trading at $43.2K | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com
Apart from the protests, there were reported glitches during the initial rollout. In the first week, one machine completed only three successful transactions out of many. A lot of Salvadorans also do not trust bitcoin because of its volatility.
According to a recent survey from Sherlock Communications, an agency in Brazil, 54% of Salvadorans are not familiar with Bitcoin.
Featured image from Nairametrics, Chart from TradingView.com