As part of the government’s intention to make bitcoin legal tender, El Salvador began installing bitcoin ATMs, allowing residents to convert the cryptocurrency into US dollars and withdraw it in cash.
President Nayib Bukele announced on Twitter that the government will construct 200 automated teller machines to complement its digital wallet named Chivo, a local slang word for ‘cool.’ He said that transactions will be commission-free and that there will be 50 bank facilities around the country where people may withdraw or transfer funds.
Mr. Bukele estimates that embracing Bitcoin will save Salvadorans $400 million per year in remittance fees.
El Salvador’s bitcoin law will go into force on September 7, and Salvadorans will be able to download the government’s Chivo digital wallet, input their ID number, and get $30 in bitcoin, according to Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya. According to him, the government has established a $150 million fund to support Bitcoin to US dollar conversions.