El Salvador’s President claims that half a million people have used a new Bitcoin wallet.
El Salvador’s bitcoin wallet currently has over half a million users, according to President Nayib Bukele.
The 6.6 million-strong country became the first to accept bitcoin as legal tender alongside the US dollar, which has served as the country’s official currency for the past two decades.
Bukele tweeted late Monday, “We currently have more than half a million users (of the Chivo wallet).”
The “Chivo Wallet” is an electronic program that Salvadorans can download to perform bitcoin transactions in exchange for a $30 equivalent sign-up bonus.
Bukele went on to say that the wallet’s technical issues had been mainly rectified, and that the program would be fully functioning in a matter of days.
The initial launch had been marred by problems, with the Chivo software crashing and bitcoin losing almost 17% of its value at one point.
“Every day, more and more companies accept payments in bitcoin or dollars,” Bukele stated in his Twitter thread.
The government claims that the project will provide many Salvadorans with their first access to financial services, and that it will save millions of dollars in remittance commissions, which account for more than a fifth of the country’s GDP.
Experts and regulators, on the other hand, have raised worries about the cryptocurrency’s famed volatility, its possible impact on price inflation in a country where poverty and unemployment are high, and the absence of user safety.