El Salvador: The Bitcoin countdown is ticking - the Chivo wallet is coming

According to El Salvador’s President Bukele, September 7 is the day. The Chico-Wallet will start and every citizen can receive 30 USD as a bonus. However, there is no legal obligation to do so.

El Salvador’s government-backed wallet will go live early next month, according to President Nayib Bukele. Bukele tweeted on Sunday that the so-called Chivo wallet will be available for download on September 7. While the use of the wallet is not required by law. But those who download it will receive $30 in bitcoin during the setup process. Bukele is doing this in an attempt to dispel the skepticism that many of his countrymen have about cryptocurrency.

Using the Chivo wallet, it will then be possible in the future in El Salvador to make payments in Bitcoin or dollars between individuals and companies. The payment can happen worldwide, so also from outside the country. People of other nationalities will also have access to the wallet. Bukele probably wants to make it attractive for tourists as well. They could then, for example, pay tips or hotel bills in Bitcoin using Chivo.

In addition to this wallet, there will also be ATMs, the so-called Cajeros Chivo. At 200 machines of this type, citizens can withdraw money from Chivo in dollars. In addition, there will also be 50 Puntos Chivos . There deposits and withdrawals are possible. They also act as a point of contact for troubleshooting and education about cryptocurrencies related to the wallet infrastructure.

Bitcoin law in El Salvador now somewhat weakened

With the wallet not having to be downloaded, El Salvador’s President Bukele is somewhat weakening the bitcoin law he originally planned to pass. On Twitter, he writes about it:

If someone wants to continue to carry cash, not receive a sign-up bonus, not attract customers with Bitcoin, not grow their business, and not pay commissions for transfers, they can continue to do so. If you [Chivo, ed.] don’t want to, you can always go to Western Union and pay a commission. No problem at all.

President Nayib Bukele on Twitter

El Salvador’s legislature passed a law recognizing Bitcoin as legal tender in June of this year. After Bukele signed the law, the country had to wait another 90 days after it was published in the Official Gazette, until September 7. At that time, the Chivo wallet app will be available in app stores. To do more for infrastructure, Bukele recently tried to get a state-owned geothermal energy company on board. This company should make its facilities available for Bitcoin miners. More than half of the country’s energy comes from renewable sources. Since there are 23 active volcanoes in El Salvador, bhe currently installed geothermal capacity exceeds 200 megawatts.