Salvadoran President Najib Bukele claims that 2.1 million of his citizens use the government-backed crypto wallet Chivo, offering a glimpse into the apparent success of the Bitcoin (BTC) maneuver in the country.
The controversial president updated 2.9 million followers on Twitter on Saturday afternoon, claiming Chivo “now has more users than any bank in El Salvador” after just three weeks in business. Bukele noted that it’s only a matter of time before Chivo’s reliance outnumbers all of El Salvador’s banks 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
– Neb Bukele (@nayibbukele) September 25, 2021
The state-issued Chivo wallet launched in early September as El Salvador officially recognized Bitcoin as a legal currency – a landmark move that could provide an important case study for other countries in the region. Chivo enables individuals and businesses to send and receive payments in bitcoin or dollars from anywhere in the world. The wallet is available on both Android and Apple devices. As Cointelegraph reported, Mexican crypto exchange Bitso has signed on as Chivo’s primary service provider.
Related: S&P Global Warns El Salvador’s Credit Rating Could Take a Blow Amid Bitcoin Adoption
Bukele’s latest update indicates that the Bitcoin law is being received favorably across the country, even as hundreds of anti-government protesters have taken to the streets to express their opposition. On September 15, those protests culminated in the burning of a crypto-currency booth in the country’s capital.
Chivo’s mass adoption is certainly due in part to the government dropping $30 BTC to each Salvadoran account holder. According to a recent survey by São Paulo-based agency Sherlock Communications, more than half of Salvadorans are not familiar with Bitcoin.
Meanwhile, the Bukele government has been filling its coffers with BTC after a series of volatile price swings for the digital asset. El Salvador “bought the dip” after at least two recent price drops – September 7 and September 20 – bringing its total holdings to 700 BTC.