El Salvador’s Bitcoin detractors: Opposition mounts despite crypto rollout

Despite the fact that the law is in effect, there is still resistance to El Salvador’s attempt to make Bitcoin legal tender.
The year 2021 will likely be remembered as one of Bitcoin’s most memorable years. This is due to its recent adoption by billionaires and adoptions by mainstream institutions, along with El Salvador’s decision to make it legal tender. It almost seems that the entire world is watching El Salvador’s experiment to see if it succeeds or fails. This has been evident in protests against the official implementation in El Salvador of Bitcoin as a legal currency. The seminal cryptocurrency is facing many headwinds, from the arrests of people criticizing the Salvadoran government’s new law to the protests by citizens across the country against Bitcoin’s legal status. It all started in June when Nayib Bukele, the Salvadoran president, announced via Twitter that the country’s legislative assembly had approved a bill making Bitcoin legal. The law, which was to be implemented in September 7, would allow the country’s 4.5million citizens to purchase Bitcoin at all of its stores. Bukele announced that after a bill was passed to legalize Bitcoin, Chivo ATMs — Chivo being El Salvador’s official BTC wallet — would be available “everywhere” in El Salvador. This would allow El Salvadorans the ability to withdraw Bitcoin in cash, without having to pay any commissions. Bukele also assured citizens that no one would be forced to use Bitcoin. The 40-year-old president stated that anyone can queue up at Western Union to pay a commission. You can’t just download the app and go about your normal life. He said that nobody was going to take your money. The first wave of resistance. Following the announcement, a group called the Popular Resistance and Rebellion Block(BRRP) formed to protest the Bitcoin law. The bill promised permanent residency for investors and three BTC investment in El Salvador. Mario Gomez was arrested Steve Hanke, an economist from Johns Hopkins University, criticised Gomez’s arrest for being an “authoritarian police technique in action.” Hector Silva, a counselor at the mayor’s office San Salvador, stated that Gomez’s arrest “demonstrates the fragility and inaction of the government regarding the implementation of Bitcoin law, but confirms something even worse.” Silva added, “They are willing to manipulate any institutions necessary to push out critical voices.” While Gomez was initially detained by police as part of a financial fraud investigation. However, news reports revealed that Gomez was actually arrested without a warrant. Also, an attempt was made on his phone and computer. The citizens’ protest Its value fluctuates from one second to the next, and we have no control over that.” We don’t know what the currency is. We don’t know the source of the currency. We don’t know if this will bring us profit or loss. One Salvadoran said that they don’t know everything. Bukele’s administration responded that Bitcoin use is not mandatory and that training and other alternatives will be provided. Mixed opinionsAlthough President Bukele enjoys incredibly high approval ratings, recent polls concerning the Bitcoin law show a widespread lack of support for the measure.A recent poll conducted by El Salvador’s Universidad Centroamericana Jose Simeon Canas shows that up to two-thirds of respondents are inclined towards a move to repeal the law, and more than 70% prefer the U.S dollar over Bitcoin.International institutions like the International Monetary Fund have also warned about macroeconomic, financial and legal issues brought about by El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin.Siobhan Morden, head of Latin America Fixed Income Strategy at Amherst Pierpont, said that “the plans for Bitcoin under an increasingly autocratic regime will likely only compound concerns about corruption.”On the flip side, others remain optimistic that the new law will eventually benefit Salvadorans given that the country’s economy is heavily reliant on remittances sent home by migrants overseas. Alexander Blum, managing Director of Two Prime, stated that El Salvador’s adoption as legal tender of Bitcoin by law gives the country some flexibility in financial matters and sovereignty. Alberto Echegaray Guevara, an artist and entrepreneur, echoed his sentiments. He said that President Bukele’s Bitcoin Law was not only trying make international money transfer easier for 70% of his population, but also creating an economic hub and new platform for Central American remittances. Pollard stated that he believes other South American countries are not far behind and will soon follow.

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