El Salvador's bitcoin revolution needs to win the hearts of its own people

bitcoin becomes legal tender in el salvador

El Salvador's Bitcoin revolution made the news, but it still has to make history. On September 7 2021 El Salvador became the first country in the world to accept a digital asset as a currency. The Bitcoin is like the US dollar. El Salvador now has a reserve of 400 BTC.

The Chivo Wallet

The use of Bitcoin is, of course, not mandatory: Salvadorans can freely choose to use it for their payments or their savings. President Nayib Bukele created a national Bitcoin wallet, called Chivo: when a citizen opens a Chivo account, he receives the equivalent of 30 USD in Bitcoin.

The average wage for a clerk in El Salvator is 304 USD per month: 30 “free” dollars look like a very effective incentive.

But are Salvadorans going to accept Bitcoin and use it?

Salvadorans skeptic about BTC

The majority of Salvadorans disagree with the use of bitcoin as a legal tender, according to a poll by Central American University. The news was reported by news agency Reuters.

The UCA is a Jesuit university based in El Salvador. On September. 7 the Government of El Salvador should formalize bitcoin as a legal tender. The plan was announced by President Nayib Bukele in June.

According to UCA's poll, about 90% of Salvadorans do not have a clear understanding of bitcoin and 80% have little or no confidence in its use. And 7 of of 10 think it shouldn't become legal tender.

Why El Salvador is adopting bitcoin as legal tender

The Government thinks bitcoin could make El Salvador less reliant on USD, the current legal tender, boosting economic development and creating new jobs.  El Salvador could become a "lab country" for cryptocurrency adoption. Digital wallets and crypto-ATMs are already in place in the country: only the bitcoin is going to become legal tender, but at ATMs in El Salvador people will be able to deposit and withdraw litecoin and bitcoin cash, too.

El Salvador’s economy still relies on a huge use of cash. And only 58% of its population has access to the internet: the real adoption of Bitcoin might then take some time, following the development of mobile networks.

At the moment, the Government has full control of the Bitcoin wallets: the only way to access Bitcoin in El Salvador is through the Chivo wallet. Will there be some more competition in the future? And will common people start using Bitcoin or even saving it for the future?

El Salvador is a huge, fascinating real-life test for the crypto revolution.