people of El Salvador at a state of skepticism regarding the adoption of Bitcoin results released by a poll held on July 1 to 4.
To accept anything as a legal tender as a mode of payment, there has to be a mutual agreement among the people of the country and its governing authorities. Although, the congress in El Salvador seems to be in majority to pass the bill introduced in their parliament and implements the execution of bitcoin as a legal tender in the country from September 2021. However, a poll was held in the country to assess the reaction of its citizens adapting to this change. The results were unfortunately unfavorable. But what is the governing authority and president doing about it?
Quick Background Of El Salvador’s Acquaintance With Bitcoin
World’s first-ever country to make a historical change. El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele passed a bill that will make bitcoin a legal tender in the country. The country run by a social media crafty 39-year-old millennial is rewriting its history. Well until now El Salvador has been most well-known for its endless struggles with the gang war. It may soon become a central American hub for the digital revolution of blockchain technology. From September this year, every business will have to accept bitcoin as a mode of transaction in exchange for goods and services.
News headlines rang in every media putting up the country’s name across the world, “Bitcoin would become legal tender”; “Bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador” &c.
70% of the country’s inhabitants don’t possess any bank account. Bitcoin was introduced to solve the constraints of central banking, the proposed solution was to create a decentralized and permissionless payment system that cannot be manipulated or controlled by any single authority and where participants cannot have their transactions rejected or funds seized. A global cryptocurrency run on a transparent blockchain network was created to liberate economies but governing authorities excel in molding the technology to empower autocratic rule. This will be justified later in this piece.
To promote the use of bitcoin as a legal tender the president of El Salvador offered 30 USD in bitcoin to anyone (above the age of 18) who established an account with the state crypto wallet (named “Chivo” which is a colloquial slang term meaning ‘cool’). This scheme was also used to provide an incentive to the common people. An amount of 120 million USD was derived from the government funds thinking this could give way to 4 million people opening crypto wallets. This utopian expectation was not met.
In one of the speeches by President Nayib Bukele, he also said that he would set up training sessions to help people use bitcoin as a mode of payment more easily.
He also said that it is not necessary and depends upon the person whether or not they intend to use this cryptocurrency Bitcoin. However, his actions align in such a manner that it forces people to use Bitcoin as a parallel to the US dollar.
Polls held in El Salvador
A poll was conducted by Disruptiva, which is affiliated with Francisco Gavidia University.
The survey showed that three-fourths of the population of El Salvador isn’t happy about Bitcoin becoming a legal tender in the country. The poll survey was conducted among 1,233 people, featuring a margin of error of 2.8 percent. Within which 54% view the legalization of bitcoin as “not correct at all”, 24% view it as “only a little correct”. The poll also showed that around 46% of them have no idea about the concept of cryptocurrency.
In a country with the majority which doesn’t own a basic financial requirement like a bank account, or doesn’t receive quality service required for daily life chores. Most are not adequately educated about this concept; in such a state how can the country use the spotlight of adopting Bitcoin as a legal tender?
It seems like the president is concerned more about the global reputation than the choice of its people. The technological development through blockchain and energy harnessing might make a difference for the Central American country in the long run. But what about the necessities of the people, the quality of lifestyle and livelihood?
These questions are significant and we must look forward to information regarding the Bukele government’s next step in this area of development.