El Salvador made bitcoin legal in global first but its digital wallet Chivo hit snag on day 1, here’s why
While the Central American nation El Salvador became the first country to adopt bitcoin as one of the legal tenders on Tuesday, the Salvadorans couldn’t find the government-promoted digital wallet Chivo on apps stores for using bitcoin. According to the country’s President Nayib Bukele, the wallet had to be temporarily disconnected in order to enhance the capacity of the servers to cope up with the demand. “For a few moments it won’t work @chivowallet, we have disconnected it while increasing the capacity of the image capture servers. The installation problems that some people had were for that reason. We prefer to correct it before reconnecting it,” Bukele tweeted.
The President had to ask users as well later who had downloaded the wallet to check if it was working properly after the addition of new servers. “We are doing a live test of the new servers. Those who have already downloaded @chivowallet and you have not registered yet, could you please try to register and post in the comments if there are any errors or if the whole process works fine?”
The country reportedly last month had started setting up bitcoin ATMs for users to convert bitcoins into US dollars and withdraw the cash without any commission charged for the transaction. The President had said that bitcoin usage will save Salvadorans $400 million per year on commissions for getting remittances from aboard. The government had said that users will get $30 in bitcoin on downloading the Chivo wallet.
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On Monday, Bukele said that the country had bought 400 bitcoins in total, equivalent to around $20.9 billion as per the bitcoin price at the time of the President’s tweet. “El Salvador just bought 200 new coins. We now hold 400 #bitcoin,” Bukele had tweeted. However, the move attracted criticism from his people. As reported by CNBC, nearly 70 per cent of Salvadorans surveyed by the Central American University disagreed with the administration’s decision to adopt bitcoin as legal tender and many were also unsure of how to use the digital currency. On the other hand, the government hoped that it will boost financial inclusion in the country where around 70 per cent of citizens don’t have access to traditional financial services, as per the bitcoin law. Back in June this year, the country had passed the Bitcoin law to make bitcoin the legal tender.