People in El Salvador’s Capital Protested Against Bitcoin  

People gathered in the country’s capital San Salvador, angry at the introduction of Bitcoin as its legal tender. The country from Central America this month became the first to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar

The country’s president says the cryptocurrency will help Salvadorians working abroad to send money back home. More than half a million people are using the country’s Bitcoin wallet based on the information provided by President Nayib Bukele. He also noted that the Chivo Wallet would be fully operational in few days. It is an electronic application that locals can download to make cryptocurrency transactions. Customers will be able to deposit as well as withdraw money without paying commission. The government installed Bitcoin ATMs across the country, so it will be easy to use Bitcoin on a regular basis. 

The project will give many people access to banking services for the first time. Officials also hope it will shave millions off commissions on remittances, which account for more than a fifth of the country’s GDP. Several weeks ago El Salvador’s Congress approved a law to create a $150 million fund. The purpose of this $150 million fund is to facilitate conversions from Bitcoin to U.S. dollars. 

Bitcoin and Nayib Bukele

At the heart of Salvadorians complaints is the recent law making Bitcoin legal tender and the firing in May of the judges on the constitutional panel of the Supreme Court. The U.S., as well as top international rights, criticized the decision to appoint judges who support Bukele. 

Some demonstrators vandalized an ATM where you can exchange Bitcoins for dollars.

Demonstrators also rebuked a court ruling saying the president can serve two consecutive terms. As a result, Nayib Bukele will be able to take in a presidential election in 2024. University students, healthcare workers, lawyers, LGBTQ groups, and others participated in a demonstration. They brandished banners with slogans such as “Bukele Dictator” and shouted for the polarizing leader to resign. He came to power in 2019 on a promise to tackle rampant gang violence as well as political corruption. 

President Nayib Bukele was also criticized for sending soldiers and police to occupy Congress in 2020 as a way to pressure lawmakers. Despite all issues, Bukele still enjoys strong support in El Salvador. A recent newspaper poll showed that 85.7% of people approved of the president.

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