The Chivo Bitcoin (BTC) wallet (which had been introduced by El Salvador’s government in an effort to ease the transition regarding the nationwide implementation of the flagship crypto after it was officially accepted as legal tender) has now witnessed over 500,000 active users. This is a remarkable accomplishment, especially since this is the first time in history that Bitcoin is being administered to everyone in such a widespread and quick manner.
The wallet had been initially introduced on the 7th of September, and President Nayib Bukele had gone on the record to state that as an added incentive for his people to start using Bitcoin, his government shall be providing $30 in BTC to whoever uses the wallet, although this money can only be received on the first time that the wallet is downloaded and not on a repetitive basis.
Although the aforementioned decision to make BTC legal tender is certainly revolutionary, it did not come without its costs. A lot of protests have broken out in the country, making headlines with the common theme being focused around an anti-Bitcoin sentiment. The protestors, which consisted of both regular citizens and the government’s opposition parties, have also reportedly filed a lawsuit. Furthermore, technical problems such as glitches caused issues for countless citizens at the beginning of the cryptocurrency’s nationwide implementation.
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Still, there are those who remain overjoyed by the development, as El Salvador’s government has provided multiple incentives to get its citizens to use BTC, which included the abovementioned $30 and also permanent residence to anyone who can contribute a minimum of 3 BTC.
Setting the standard
Whether other countries choose to follow in El Salvador’s footsteps is another conversation entirely, as while some have already begun efforts towards legitimizing cryptocurrency assets like Ukraine, others remain hesitant as to what such a decision could lead to for the long term.
As such, it is unlikely that many nations will be immediately wanting to make BTC legal tender like El Salvador has, and it is, instead, probable that central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are going to be the main point of focus instead. Additionally, major worldwide economic superpowers such as India, China, and Russia have already rebutted the idea of making the flagship cryptocurrency legal tender, with the United States also having a well-documented anti-crypto approach in the past.
It would therefore be unwise to expect the smaller and less powerful nations to follow the standard that El Salvador has set because of pre-existing ties to these superpowers, but then again, nobody expected the crypto industry to make it this far either. No matter what happens now, we are certainly living in an extremely interesting time regarding cryptocurrencies, blockchain technologies, and the world of decentralized finance (DeFi).