Today, El Salvador became the first country to accept Bitcoin as a legal tender. The nation is divided.
Businesses now have to accept Bitcoin, alongside El Salvador’s official currency – the US dollar.
According to president Nayib Bukele, this will save the country $400 million that the government spends annually on commissions for remittances. El Salvador bought 400 bitcoins before the launch, which drove the currency above $52,000. The last time it passed that number was in May.
If the citizens sign up for a government digital wallet, they will receive $30 in Bitcoin. They can convert dollars into bitcoins via cash machines – more than 200 ATMs will be installed across the country for the purpose.
Fans of the currency have also bought $30 worth of the coin to show support.
Although Bukele is optimistic about the change, the nation is mostly divided.
There are already a number of things one can buy with bitcoin, but that doesn’t seem to faze the skeptics. More than 68% of the participants in a Central American University (UCA) survey are confused by the change at best. Most disagree with it, as they do not understand how cryptocurrencies work.
Recently, there were also protests against the move in the capital, San Salvador.
Optimists, however, claim that it will enable their relatives from abroad to send financial help and not get charged by banks.
Buleke said in a Tweet: “We must break the paradigms of the past. El Salvador has the right to advance towards the first world.”