Companies that do not accept Bitcoin in El Salvador will face legal sanctions. Critics point out contradictions in the measure.
Companies that do not accept Bitcoin in El Salvador will face legal sanctions. Critics point out contradictions in the measure. By Angel Di Matteo

@shadowargelDespite critics and opponents pointing out contradictions on the part of the government regarding the use of Bitcoin

, the law states that businesses and companies must enable mechanisms to receive payments with the digital currency. The optional nature of use is for residents.

The legal advisor for the presidency of El Salvador, Javier Argueta, recently indicated in an interview that companies that refuse to make transactions with Bitcoin

may face legal sanctions.

This was stated by Argueta during an interview on the program “Frente a Frente“, where he indicated that companies that incur in this practice and prohibit residents to make payments with Bitcoin face the provisions set forth in the Consumer Protection Law of El Salvador,

where sanctions apply for such cases.


Argueta later requested to correct the comments published in the Tweet issued by Diario El Mundo, where he asked to clarify that the use of Chivo is not mandatory for entrepreneurs, so they could make use of the wallet

they want for this purpose.

Contradiction with what President Bukele said?

Argueta’s statements generated strong uproar in the main social networks, especially among opponents of the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender within the country.

Critics of the measure pointed out that there was a major contradiction between Argueta’s comments and what had been said days earlier by El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, who had assured that the use of Bitcoin and Chivo would be completely optional for residents.

At the time, in a lengthy thread posted last August 22 via his Twitter account , Bukele commented:

“This is what will happen on September 7: People will be able to download an app to receive payments or gifts in #bitcoin or DOLLARS. If they want it they will download it and if they don’t want it, they won’t. With it they will receive $30 dollars equivalent in #bitcoin for consumption. If they want to, if they don’t, no… With this application they will be able to accept payments in #bitcoin or in DOLLARS, open a small business and manage it from there, receive money from family or friends and send and receive remittances without paying a single cent of commission to anyone. If they want to, if they don’t, they don’t download anything and that’s it.

Comparing these comments, FMLN party representative Anabel Belloso accused the government of openly lying about the adoption of Bitcoin, precisely because Bukele himself had indicated that the use of the currency was not mandatory for residents.

Bitcoin and the measures applicable to official currencies

While critics and opponents point out as a contradiction Argueta’s statements, the points made by the official apply perfectly within the legal frameworks applicable to the use of official currencies within any country, which now cover Bitcoin to become a legal currency in El Salvador.

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Among the main characteristics that must apply to an official currency is to comply with at least three properties:

  • It must serve as a means of exchange and payment for products and services. Here it is the State that must guarantee its acceptance for such purposes.
  • It must operate as a unit of measurement, precisely for the calculation of prices.
  • It must function as a store of value.

In messages to residents, Bukele said that residents are the ones who will have the last word on whether or not to use Bitcoin as a mechanism to pay for products and services, he said.t is clear that no citizen is obliged to use the digital currency if he or she does not want to. However, the measure has a different reading for companies and merchants in the country, who are legally obliged to accept payment with any currency that is considered legal tender, so they must make the necessary adjustments to enable the necessary mechanisms.

Irregularities and criticisms of the measure

These remarks come just hours before the measure that makes Bitcoin a legal tender in El Salvador, which generated some criticism among residents and political opponents, begins to take effect.

In recent days, the authorities of El Salvador carried out the arrest of a person who was listed as a critic of the adoption of Bitcoin in social networks and specialized forums. Although the police indicated that this is part of an ongoing investigation for financial crimes, critics and opponents pointed to irregularities in due process, calling the move an attempt to intimidate activists who are not in favor of the measure.

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Previously, in the thread of messages published by Bukele to report on progress in infrastructure in the face of the adoption of Bitcoin, the president made harsh criticism of opponents whom he accused of misrepresenting and sharing erroneous information about the digital currency:

“The clumsy opposition always plays one-step chess. They have bet everything on putting fear into the population about the #LeyBitcoin and they may achieve something, but only until September 7. Once in effect, people will see the benefits, look like liars, and lose double…. Some will prefer to believe the thieving opponents who have done nothing but loot our country, destroy it and pay to murder our people. Others will choose to believe the government. But in the end, everyone will realize the reality on September 7.”

Let’s keep in mind that Bitcoin will become legal tender as of tomorrow.

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Source: Twitter, El Mundo Newspaper

Version by Angel Di Matteo / DiarioBitcoin

Image by Unsplash