Protests erupt in El Salvador against President Bukele’s Bitcoin law. Neighboring Central American countries are watching the standoff with bated breath.
El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele’s plan to make Bitcoin a legal tender has sparked heated debate. He must have known that popular support for the new law leaves something to be desired after several polls on the subject. But the rejection is probably greater than previously assumed. For last Friday, according to media reports, a large protest march took place in which El Salvadorans raised their voices against the introduction of Bitcoin as an official means of payment. One of the main reasons for the skepticism is reportedly the cryptocurrency’s high volatility.
We know that Bitcoin is subject to drastic fluctuations. Its value changes from one second to the next, and we have no control over it.
, Stanley Quinteros, a member of the Supreme Court Employees Union, told Reuters.
The question is whether El Salvador’s government will even be swayed by these protests. Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele’s supporters in Congress have already approved legislation that would give Bitcoin the status of an official currency alongside the US dollar. This would be a world first for the Central American country.
El Salvador wants to lower transaction fees with Bitcoin
Independence from the U.S. dollar isn’t Bukule’s only argument for the law, which officially goes into effect on September 7. El Salvador is looking to lower the cost of remittances by adopting Bitcoin as a parallel legal tender. Money transfers from abroad are an important source of income for millions of residents. Accordingly, El Salvador’s neighboring countries, whose residents fare similarly, are turning their attention to Buke’s law.
Everyone is watching to see if things go well for El Salvador and if, for example, the cost of remittances drops significantly. If so, other countries are likely to take advantage of it,” said Dante Mossi.
, Dante Mossi, executive president of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), told Reuters. The regional development bank CABEI is providing technical assistance to El Salvador to help it adopt the cryptocurrency. This is an important sign of support after the World Bank declined to help, citing environmental and transparency issues.
Bukele is trying to alleviate popular resentment by giving each new user of the Chivo wallet a Bitcoin bonus promises the equivalent of $ 30. However, this could not prevent the protest rally.