There’s been a multitude of progress since the establishment of Bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador, and we look at just what El Salvadorans can buy with the cryptocurrency.
As Bitcoin is the nation’s official currency, most businesses must now accept the crypto alongside the US dollar, which is the country’s other official currency.
In order to use the crypto as payment, people must download the Chivo digital wallet and register with a national identity number.
Citizens are able to pay for items from global companies such as Pizza Hut and Starbucks that operate in El Salvador as well as pay for bills for those involved with Claro, a mobile phone company.
McDonald’s is another restaurant that accepts Bitcoin with the public also able to pay taxi fares with the crypto.
Grocery shopping and trips to the hairdresser are payable by Bitcoin with El Salvador ramping up the number of businesses that can accept the crypto with the country fully embracing the digital economy for now and the future.
While some El Salvadorans have praised the forward-thinking nature of President Nayib Bukele, protests involving thousands of people against the decision to make Bitcoin legal tender has marred the country.
Protestors marched the streets with signs shaming Bukele’s decision and labelling the nation’s political situation as a ‘dictatorship’, with some resorting to the destruction of property by burning Bitcoin ATMs.
While El Salvador has capitalised on dips in the market to purchase more Bitcoin, questions have been raised on what the nation’s plan is regarding the volatility of the cryptocurrency market.
The country currently owns $38m worth of Bitcoin, therefore a market crash could have dire consequences on the nation’s economy.
Félix Ulloa, the vice president of El Salvador, said an unnamed Swiss company offered to buy the country’s Bitcoin stash at $50,000 a unit, regardless of the daily market value, in what is a futures contract.
El Salvador and Bitcoin is still a burgeoning relationship but, for now, the nation’s people are able to gain access to Bitcoin and pay for a variety of commodities.