El Salvador has become the first government to accept Bitcoin as legal cash, sparking debate in the country and throughout the world about the benefits and risks of cryptocurrencies.
Businesses will be required to accept the contentious digital currencies as payment starting today.
Millions are expected to download the government’s new digital wallet software, which provides each person with $30 (£22) in Bitcoin.
Bitcoin supporters all across the world have been buying $30 worth of the digital coins to express their support and help raise the currency’s value.
Many Excited For The Change
Daniel Hercules, a 26-year-old Salvadorian cab driver, is enthusiastic about the relocation but concerned about his income stability.
“Since I knew this was coming, I’ve been accepting Bitcoin for approximately two months. Someone just paid me $40 in Bitcoin for a taxi ride to the airport, but that’s unusual. Only about 10% of clients choose to pay with cash “itcoin is a cryptocurrency.”
Daniel claims that the cost of transferring Bitcoin into the local currency, the US dollar, is exorbitant (at 10%), therefore he is keeping the money.
He wants to increase his Bitcoin wallet to about $1,000, but he is concerned about the currency’s depreciation.
“One of the things that concerns me the most is this. It would not be acceptable to lose money as a result of lengthy days at work.”
Reality Of The Bitcoin Market
Bitcoin’s value has fluctuated considerably over the last year.
It climbed from around $10,000 for a single coin in September 2020 to a peak of $63,000 in April 2021, before dropping to $30,000 in July of this year.
Bitcoin’s value has surged above $51,000 in recent weeks, which some experts attribute to the news from El Salvador.
On Monday, a popular post on Reddit’s Bitcoin page, which has a following of three million people, read: “So… On Tuesday, did we all buy $30 worth of Bitcoin?”
Many Left Uncertain
However, according to a survey conducted by the Central American University (UCA), just 4.8 percent of the 1,281 persons polled knew what Bitcoin was and how it was utilized.
Over 68 percent of those polled stated they oppose the use of bitcoin as legal money.
Jeanette Sandoval, 70, works with her son to sell groceries for home delivery. She has stated that she will not be participating.
“I’ve always been open to change, but I don’t agree this time. Our clients have said that they would not pay with Bitcoin.
“Many people in my nation are uneducated and have just a basic mobile phone, not an intelligent one, but an outdated one. They are not going to utilize it.
“I’m not going to download the app right now, but I’ll have to do so eventually. I’m not interested in the $30 they’ll give away; I prefer, and have always done, to earn my money by sweating through my shirt.”
Protests Set To Begin Next Week
Over 200 new cash machines are being placed across the country to allow for the conversion of dollars into Bitcoin.
Recent protests in San Salvador’s capital have shown a lack of trust among residents, who believe the measure is a diversion from the government’s problematic rule.