In a radical and unprecedented move by the president of El Salvador, traditional coins and banknotes are now co-existing alongside with cryptocurrencies in the Central America’s country of El Salvador.
The President, Nayib Bukele stated that using Bitcoin as a form of legal tender will render the exercise of transferring money by Salvadorans living outside the country a more effective and efficient endeavour. Currently, El Salvador’s government is in possession of around 550 Bitcoin, being equivalent to circa 20 million Euros.
Although this has been seen as a positive shift by some, numerous residents have been observed to oppose the move. To this effect, a poll by a University based in El Salvador stated that 67.9% of participants to the survey did not agree with the radical move to include Bitcoin as legal tender. Nonetheless, this negative feedback has been seen to be mostly attributable to the general opposition against the president’s leadership and not only to the idea of having Bitcoin as legal tender. This is due to the pushback from the seemingly unconstitutional decision taken during a recent court decision allowing for the president to be re-elected for additional terms.
Due to the very nature of the issue, including the fact that many residents do not have access to internet communications, numerous setbacks presented themselves during this change, including negative fluctuations on the value of Bitcoin. Nonetheless, this has been seen as a shift towards a new normal by some, while others viewed it as a controversial idea that will culminate into nothing. Only the future will tell as such innovations always present initial setbacks and opposition by many, but might lead to a new norm in the not so distant future.
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