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25% of El Salvador's population (1.6M citizens) now uses Bitcoin wallet

finbold.com 21 September 2021 11:42, UTC
Reading time: ~2 m

There are now 1.6 million Salvadorans, roughly 25% of the population utilizing the Bitcoin (BTC) Chivo wallet, according to the President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, on Twitter.

In a tweet sent on September 20, 2021, President Nayib Bukele provided an update on the country’s adoption of the nation’s new Bitcoin app, Chivo Wallet; he confirmed: “1.6 million Salvadorans already use @chivowallet and growing…”

1.6 millones de salvadoreños ya utilizan @chivowallet 🥳

Y subiendo…#Bitcoin🇸🇻

— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) September 20, 2021

By the same token, Bitcoin acceptance in El Salvador is accelerating, with the President reporting that 1.1 million Salvadorans had signed up for the app as of Friday, September 17, 2021.

1.1 millones de salvadoreños ya utilizan @chivowallet (y aún no hemos habilitado el 65% de los modelos de teléfono).

Parece que lograremos bancarizar más personas en 1 mes, de lo que hicieron con nacionalizaciones y privatizaciones de la banca tradicional en 40 años.#Bitcoin🇸🇻

— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) September 18, 2021

Given that Bitcoin only became legal tender in the country on September 7, 2021, these figures are impressive. It signifies that almost a quarter of El Salvador’s population has access to banking just by signing up for the program, giving them access to BTC.

Seventy percent of El Salvador’s working population was unbanked before adopting Bitcoin as legal tender, but digital assets have now permanently transformed financial geopolitics. 

Many Salvadorans still hesitant over BTC

Despite the growth, many citizens still have a problem with trust. It’s true that, for the time being, many Salvadorans do not have faith in bitcoin, with most people – 70% — said they do not wish to utilize Bitcoin for regular transactions.

President Bukele has defied the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which expressed its concerns about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies becoming national currencies, and the World Bank by declaring Bitcoin legal tender.

Recently, President Nayib Bukele revealed that the Central American country bought 150 bitcoins over the weekend, worth roughly $6.7 million at current exchange rates.

He announced on Sunday night, shortly after the bitcoin price fell from above $48,000 to below $46,000.

We just bought the dip.

150 new coins!

El Salvador now holds 700 coins.#Bitcoin🇸🇻

— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) September 20, 2021

El Salvador is paving the way for other nations to accept Bitcoin, with countries such as Cuba and Ukraine beginning to recognize and regulate cryptocurrencies.

Ultimately, however, whether Salvadorans will take to Bitcoin remains to be seen, but greater progress with education is required, necessitating joint efforts between the private sector and governments.

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