The president of El Salvador, Neb Bukele, claims that 2.1 million citizens are using the new government-backed Chivo cryptocurrency wallet. In a tweet, he noted the apparent success of Bitcoin in the country.
El Salvador recently adopted Bitcoin as legal tender on September 7, 2021, being the first country to do so.
Related reading | Just 10 days after “Bitcoin Day” in El Salvador, President Bukele confirmed that 1.1 million citizens have a Chivo wallet
On Saturday afternoon, President Neb Buckle shared this update with his 2.9 million followers on Twitter. He claimed that Chivo “now has more users than any bank in El Salvador” after just three weeks of operation. He also said that while Chivo is not a bank, it actually has more users than any bank in El Salvador and that wallet adoption is only a matter of time before wallet adoption surpasses all banks in El Salvador combined.
2.1 million Salvadorans actively use Tweet embed (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 than all banks in El Salvador.
This is brutal!# bitcoin🇸🇻
– Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (nayibbukele) September 25, 2021
Chivo Wallet in El Salvador
The state-issued wallet was 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. Traders should provide the ability to use both currencies. However, some merchants say they would rather lose sales than accept bitcoin payments.
Related reading | El Salvador’s adoption of Chivo and Bitcoin in amazing facts and stats
The wallet is available on both Android and Apple devices. Latin American cryptocurrency exchange Bitso is the primary service provider for Chivo wallet. There are now more than 200 Bitcoin ATMs in El Salvador, which is the third largest number of ATMs after the United States and Canada.
President Bukele’s goal is 2.5 million Salvadorans, roughly 39% of the population. As an incentive, the government offers $30 in bitcoin when people download a wallet app.
Bitcoin adoption in the country
President Bukele’s recent update indicates that the Bitcoin law is being favorably received by the citizens of El Salvador. However, many protesters have taken to the streets to confirm their disapproval.
As reported, some protesters set a brand-new bitcoin machine on fire, while others carried signs that read “Bukele Dictator.” According to the protesters, the president is using authoritarian means to consolidate his grip on power. They gathered in the capital, San Salvador, to mark the bicentenary of the country’s independence, with placards reading “No to Bitcoin” and “Respect the Constitution.”
BTC trading at $43.2K | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com
Aside from protests, glitches have been reported during initial startup. In the first week, one machine completed only three successful transactions out of many. Many Salvadorans also distrust Bitcoin due to its volatility.
According to a recent survey by Sherlock Communications, an agency in Brazil, 54% of Salvadorans are not familiar with Bitcoin.
Featured image from Nairametrics, Chart from TradingView.com