Reports from Reuters have it that Nayib Bukele, El Salvador’s president, announced on Thursday that the country’s law has allowed Bitcoin to become a legal tender within its jurisdiction. The announcement was made in a national address. When the Bitcoin law comes into effect on September 7, the government on El Salvador will make use of the Chico E-wallet which will come with $30.
As per elsalvador.com, each person who downloads the wallet is entitled to the stimulus. Once users finish the verification process, via a face recognition app, $30 worth of Bitcoin will be credited to their wallets.
Passing of the Bitcoin Law in El Salvador
A supermajority, 68 members, voted in favor of the law while only 19 members were against the law. Only three members abstained when the voting took place in the country’s legislature. When the Law is effected, 3 months from now, it would make the digital coin, Bitcoin, a legal tender forcing merchants to accept it, just like the green buck.
The milestone was achieved amid strong opposition, with numerous claims of violating the country’s constitution being peddled. An article published on Coindesk disclosed that El Salvador’s opposition party had sued the government over the controversial law, with one of the plaintiffs claiming that the president should have put into account the negative impact of the law.
Jaime Guevara, an activist linked with the Farabundo Marti National Liberation-FMNL, is a vocal critic of the adopted law, and has come out, guns blazing, to Support other citizens in a bid to oppose the law. FMNL is a major opposition party in the country and Guevara is one of the top leaders.
Oscar Artero, a plaintiff showing solidarity with Guevara’s team, was quoted saying that the lawsuit was initiated due to the fact that the president, Nayib Bukele, failed to consider the harmful impacts of the decision on the country. He further said that the Bitcoin law is meant to loot the country as its tax-exempt, insisting that the government was forcing its citizens into cryptocurrency trading activities without their own volition. The appealed case now has to be ruled by the country’s top judges amid low confidence in the judicial system. Five judges were ousted by Nayib’s party following a Covid-19 ruling. The move was widely criticized, but still, the ousted judges were replaced by new magistrates on the spot.
El Salvador now becomes the first country to adopt Bitcoin as a mainstream currency. Following the passing of the Bitcoin law, Athena Bitcoin is set to install 1,500 ATMs around the country. The company is already hiring new staff and is looking at a $1 M funding. If the adoption succeeds, the ATMs won’t be enough for everyone. The 1500 ATMs have a service ratio of 1:4000.