Protesters in El Salvador oppose the Bitcoin Law on its first day

UPDATE: This post was updated today September 8th at 07:50 to include information about the vote to repeal the Bitcoin Law in El Salvador from the Legislative Assembly, which was finally rejected yesterday September 7th around 18:00 local time.

Hundreds of Salvadoran citizens protested this September 7 against the entry into force of the law that establishes bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender in El Salvador.

Yesterday’s demonstrations were more numerous than in previous occasions. Reuters

reports that more than 1,000 people approached the Legislative Palace in the city of San Salvador to express their rejection.

In testimonies published on Twitter, one can see the burning of tires and the blocking of public roads, as well as attempts to break down the police barricade posted in front of the Legislative Palace, in episodes that did not escalate in magnitude. In the afternoon they sang the National Anthem

.

Citizens claim that the Bitcoin Law and other measures of Nayib Bukele’s government have not been approved by popular consultation nor have they had due process, which would delegitimize them.

Protesters in El Salvador oppose the Bitcoin Law on its first day Protesters in El Salvador oppose the Bitcoin Law on its first day Masked protesters raise their signs against the Bitcoin Law in the streets of El Salvador. Source: REUTERS/Jose Cabezas.

They also express their concern about the volatility of bitcoin and what they consider a risk to the economic and financial integrity of the country. Just yesterday, the price reached USD 52,000, a price not seen since last May, and then fell to USD 45,000 at the time of writing, according to the CryptoNews price calculator

.

Protesters also criticize

that other areas of development such as employment rates, education, health and in general, the country’s situation, are being neglected by attending to other issues, in their opinion, not relevant.

“We believe that the Bitcoin Law has not been endorsed to benefit the working class and the oppressed of the country, but only to benefit the corrupt in the government.The volatility of the cryptocurrency is something that does not guarantee economic stability (…) The initial budget allocated to finance bitcoin is almost double what is allocated to the University of El Salvador year after year, something that young people reject”.

Student participating in the protest against the Bitcoin Law

The demonstration was joined by public employees from the legal profession to oppose the reform of the Judicial Career Law, approved last week

, which would force judges over 60 years of age and 30 years of service to retire from the career.

This law could also eliminate the role of the judge in criminal investigations, and leave these to be conducted only by public prosecutors.

The protests have been led mainly by Congresswoman Claudia Ortiz, from the VAMOS party, under the #NoAlBitcoin campaign. The congresswoman offered statements

to the media today at noon, highlighting the rejection reflected in some polls, and noting that bitcoin would not be a solution to alleviate the cost of food, energy, and other issues of concern to citizens.

“We have seen this rejection in different ways through peaceful protests. Just today we have seen 5 marches to the Legislative Assembly showing the rejection of this decision that was taken in an improvised way, in an authoritarian way, that was not consulted with the people, nor sufficiently discussed”.

Claudia Ortiz, Deputy of the Republic of El Salvador.

Legislative Assembly of El Salvador rejects to repeal the Bitcoin Law

Yesterday around 14:00 local time (El Salvador), Congresswoman Claudia Ortiz proposed in the legislature to discuss and vote the repeal of the Bitcoin Law, but this proposal did not receive enough votes to pass

.

But then, the deputies backed down and agreed to discuss and vote on the law. At around 6pm, the repeal of the Bitcoin Law was rejected in a vote from the Legislative Assembly, with 63 votes against repealing the law, 18 in favor of doing so, and 0 abstentions.

In El Zonte they want to learn about Bitcoin

Meanwhile, in El Zonte

, in the west coast of the country, a town that is the cradle of the bitcoin movement in El Salvador, more people want to learn about bitcoin and start using it.

Podcaster Peter McCormack, shared images

from El Zonte, showing a line of people waiting to receive the USD 30 exchangeable to Bitcoin that the government of El Salvador is distributing with the Chivo wallet. <img width=”538″ height=”567″ src=”//www.w3.org/2000/svg’%20viewBox=’0%200%20538%20567’%3E%3C/svg%3E” alt=” /> Protesters in El Salvador oppose the Bitcoin Law on its first day McCormack criticized economist Steve Hanke for releasing images of the protests and not those showing people lining up to learn how to use the Chivo wallet. Source: Peter McCormack.

On the other hand, more businesses are adopting bitcoin as a payment method in El Salvador, such as Pizza Hut and McDonald’s franchises, as well as Starbucks and telecom operators Claro and Movistar

.

Bitcoin is a legal tender in El Salvador as of yesterday. Meanwhile, the Chivo wallet, the official government wallet, began its journey with stumbles. However, it is expected to launch the educational campaign house to house so that citizens learn to use this wallet.