El Salvador becomes first country to adopt Bitcoin as an official currency

A few months ago, we reported that El Salvador President Nayib Armando Bukele Ortez (pictured below) was pushing for the country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. Legislation was forwarded to the nation's congress and since Ortez's party holds a supermajority, the proposal has passed with ease, making El Salvador the first country to make Bitcoin an official currency.

el salvador president
Image via The Hindu

As reported by the BBC, businesses in El Salvador are obliged to accept bitcoin as legal tender where possible. The government has also set up a digital wallet app and any citizen who downloads it is credited with $30 in bitcoin. Over 200 machines are also being installed across the country that allow people to convert their dollars to bitcoin. Meanwhile, the cost of converting bitcoin back into dollars is reportedly high at 10%.

The move has not been met with a resounding applause. According to the report, there have been protests in El Salvador's capital, San Salvador, spearheaded by citizens who have cited a lack of confidence in the cryptocurrency and claim that the legislation has only been passed to distract from Ortez's otherwise troublesome rule.

Many have also cited concerns about Bitcoin's stability - or lack thereof - in the past few years. The cryptocurrency passed the $15,000 mark for the first time since 2018 in November 2020, and then lost $3,000 within 24 hours in the same month. It climbed to $50,000 in February 2021 and has recently bumped itself up to $51,000 following the news about El Salvador.

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