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21 September 2021

El Salvador’s Bitcoin detractors: Opposition mounts despite crypto rollout

El Salvador’s Bitcoin detractors: Opposition mounts despite crypto rollout


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The year 2021 will probably go down the history books as one of Bitcoin’s (BTC) most interesting years, given its recent uptake by billionaires and adoption by mainstream institutions, not to mention El Salvador’s move to make it legal tender. .

7 marking the official implementation of Bitcoin as a legal tender in El Salvador, a wave of protests in the country against the move has roused suspicions and uncertainty over how the new law will be enforced. .

It all began in early June after Salvadoran president Nayib Bukele announced in a tweet that the country’s legislative assembly had passed a bill making Bitcoin legal tender.

In his announcement, Bukele said that once an official bill to make Bitcoin legal tender was passed, “Chivo ATMs” — Chivo being the name of the official BTC wallet for El Salvador — would eventually be “everywhere” in the country.

“President Nayib Bukele passed the law making the cryptocurrency legal tender in the country without proper consultations with the people,” one activist said.

A letter from the BRRP group said that “entrepreneurs who put their capital in Bitcoin will not pay taxes on their earnings and the government would spend millions worth of taxes to execute the whole campaign.”.

Indeed, the bill to make Bitcoin legal tender includes some interesting proposals such as a zero capital gains tax on BTC.

While Bukele has promised that the use of Bitcoin in the country will be optional and that salaries and pensions will still be paid in United States dollars, the protestors still highlighted a lack of knowledge of the technology

Siobhan Morden, head of Latin America Fixed Income Strategy at Amherst Pierpont, said that “the plans for Bitcoin under an increasingly autocratic regime will likely only compound concerns about corruption.”

“El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender by law offers the country some optionality in financial matters and sovereignty,” said Alexander Blum, managing director of Two Prime. 

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