El Salvador’s President keen on ‘Bitcoin City’, but residents say plan is not working

Crypto winter has hit El Salvador — a country reliant on the world’s largest cryptocurrency Bitcoin — for its economy — but the country’s residents believe the “Bitcoin City” plan “no longer works.”

El Salvador was the first country to recognize bitcoin as legal tender and plans to build an entire city based on the largest cryptocurrency, bitcoin. El Salvador President Nayib Bukele is counting on Bitcoin to boost economic growth and investment in the country.

“Most Salvadorans do not use Bitcoin for their day-to-day transactions, so there is no impact on the household economy. Using Bitcoin as a currency, Salvadorans have nothing more than cash or digital currency (debit/credit card) other than a $30 bonus. advantage,” said Diego Jozue, a resident of El Salvador’s capital, El Salvador, opposite indianexpress.com.

The belief that every store in El Salvador accepts Bitcoin is incorrect. Large and medium-sized businesses still accept bitcoin as a payment method because it’s the law, but “small and informal businesses don’t, not because they’re against it, it’s just that no one uses it,” he said.

Bukele also launched a $1 billion “Bitcoin Bond” in November 2021 — half of which he announced ($500 million) would go toward building energy and mining infrastructure, and the rest ($500 million) to go toward building energy and mining infrastructure Buy more bond bitcoin. The issuance of these bonds will be managed by Blockstream, a company focused on bitcoin services. Tokenized bonds are available to multiple users around the world who can make small investments as low as $100. Dividends are easily paid to bondholders using tools hosted on the Liquid network.

However, these bonds are not known to local residents. “The bond has been delayed and we haven’t received any information about it,” Jozue added. Indianexpress.com contacted several other residents, who also categorically denied having any knowledge of the Bitcoin bond.

Citizens of El Salvador also reported that their bitcoins had disappeared from the government-launched Chivo wallet. Chivo is a crypto wallet that facilitates bitcoin transactions for citizens. In recent months, major banks and merchants in the country have added accepting and lending capabilities by using the Chivo wallet.

Jozue said his father downloaded the Chivo app and taught him how to use it. He added $80 to his wallet. “One day my dad told me he couldn’t access the wallet and that’s where I found out his account was blocked. I called customer service and they told me my dad needed to go to a Chivo-Point in person (the booth where the ATM is) Find someone to help. .

“Whether or not my father gets his money back, he will never use BTC again,” he said.

Another Salvadoran, who did not want to be named, also said that the biggest mistake was the Chivo wallet, as there were so many mistakes in its launch that some people who ran their own businesses and tried to use it as a payment method could not receive funds or got lost. . “There are days when the app won’t load, and every time you want to open it to make it work, you have to clear the cache in Android. Also, the communication/education about using this technology is poor,” they stress.

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