Over 2 Million Salvadorans Using Government’s Crypto Wallet Chivo, Says President Nayib Bukele

The development revealed by the El Salvador President comes nearly a month after the nation legalised Bitcoin as a payment option.

Over 2 Million Salvadorans Using Government’s Crypto Wallet Chivo, Says President Nayib Bukele

Nayib Bukele legalised Bitcoins as a payment option in El Salvador this month

Highlights
  • El Salvador President Nayib Bukele calls nation’s crypto growth wild
  • The country legalised Bitcoin payments earlier in September
  • Over two million El Salvador nationals are using government’s Bitcoin wal

Nayib Bukele, the President of central American country El Salvador has claimed that the government-backed cryptocurrency wallet named Chivo is now being used by over two million people. The announcement comes after El Salvador became the world's first country to make Bitcoin a legal tender alongside the US dollar earlier this month. Bukele posted about the development on Twitter over the weekend, sharing news with his nearly three million followers. The president also believes that within some more time, the increasing number of Chivo users may surpass the total number of bank customers in El Salvador.

Indicating the success of legalising Bitcoin payments, Bukele's tweet highlighted it was “wild” that 2.1 million El Salvador citizens are “actively using” the Chivo wallet that was launched just three months ago in June.

Bukele's revelation has already garnered over 40,000 likes, and over 7,000 comments since he tweeted about it on September 26. While some people said Bitcoin was the future of El Salvador's economy, some raised questions around Chivo wallet's security provisions given that the platform is not yet a full-fledged Bitcoin bank.

El Salvador legalised trading and paying in world's most-valued cryptocurrency Bitcoin in the backdrop of not having its own currency. In 2011, the central American country had adopted US dollars as their mode of payments.

As per reports, El Salvador's decision to allow Bitcoin trading was motivated by the idea of stirring the nation's slowed-down economy amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

The Chivo wallet, backed by the government of El Salvador was created to facilitate transactions in Dollars as well as Bitcoins from anywhere around the world. Bitso, a Mexican cryptocurrency exchange, has agreed to serve as Chivo's key service provider, a report by news portal TechStory.com said.

While El Salvador aims to become an example of growth in legal crypto space, several other countries are against legalising trading and transacting in cryptocurrencies because these digital assets are not yet regulated by any international bank.

For instance, over the weekend a blanket ban was imposed on cryptocurrencies in the world's most populated country, China. Some years ago, China was at one point home to the world's largest number of Bitcoin miners. In 2019 however, the Asian giant termed crypto-trading “illegal”. Despite being ruled as unlawful, Chinese nationals kept getting involved in the crypto space, which has now been deemed as a punishable offence in the country.

China, along with other nations like Russia and Morocco among others have previously expressed concerns regarding notorious uses of these unregulated and untraceable cryptocurrencies that can transfer large amounts of physical money with one tap, anywhere around the world.

In addition, the massive energy consumption required by mass-level crypto trading and its effects on greenhouse gas emissions has been concern-worthy for many anti-crypto nations.

Meanwhile, the rapid growth in the crypto-trend in countries like India and Africa has been interesting.

Cryptocurrency adoption in Africa grew over 1,000 percent in the last year, with a whopping $105 billion in trade, a report by research firm Chainalys claimed.

Vietnam, India, Pakistan, and Ukraine are sitting at the top four ranks of rapid crypto adoption. The rate of cryptocurrency adoption rose by 880 percent in 2020 in these regions, a report released earlier this month had claimed.


Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article. 

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Radhika Parashar is a senior correspondent for Gadgets 360. She has been reporting on tech and telecom for the last three years now and will be focussing on writing about all things crypto. Besides this, she is a major sitcom nerd and often replies in Chandler Bing and Michael Scott references. For tips or queries you could reach out to her at RadhikaP@ndtv.com. More
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