El Salvador announces Official Bitcoin Wallet Chivo, Country to Soon get 1,500 BTC ATMs
Nayib Bukele, the President of El Salvador, has announced the official Bitcoin wallet of the country, Chivo. It will help the citizens of El Salvador to hold Bitcoin (BTC) and US Dollar (USD) as mobile applications. The users of this official BTC wallet app can convert funds between BTC and USD balances anytime. Balance of both bitcoin and US dollar will be displayed by the Chivo wallet.
Reports say that Chivo will be launched in September 2021. To promote Bitcoin and its usage within the country, the government of El Salvador has decided to offer US$30 in bonus in terms of Bitcoin to the users who download and register for the official BTC wallet of the country.
El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has said that the government is offering the bonus to the BTC users because of 2 reasons:
- "First, to promote the use of bitcoin in the economy.”
- “Second, so that the people have an incentive to use the application and download it, and in this way start the system … so that you can go to a local store and everyone will have bitcoin because everyone will have the same incentive to have downloaded the app.”
The users can send money or make payments with the help of wallet QR codes. However, no obligation is there for accepting bitcoin (BTC), Bukele said. He explained that a person may want to make payment in BTC but the merchant he or she is buying from may want to receive in terms of US Dollars. In that case, the Chivo wallet will help both of them to send/receive their preferred currency. The conversion rate from BTC to USD or vice versa will depend upon the spot market price.
Though the technical implementation of the Chivo wallet is still unclear, reports say that El Salvador has got into a partnership with Lightning payments startup Strike.
Athena Bitcoin, a Chicago-based US company well known for operating Bitcoin and other crypto ATMs across North America and South America, has announced to install 1,000 Bitcoin ATMs in the coming months. Currently, there are just 3 crypto ATMs in El Salvador. While two BTC ATMs are operated by Athena Bitcoin in Playa El Zonte and a shopping center in Antiguo Cuscatlán, the other is operated by another operator in Playa El Tunco.
El Salvador is embracing Bitcoin in a big way. Its Congress has first passed a bill that made Bitcoin a legal tender. El Salvador will reportedly enforce the use of BTC in the country within 3-months. World Bank has refused to help the country in implementing the use of Bitcoin within the country, International Monetary Fund (IMF) has condemned the country’s move in legalizing BTC.
Despite these oppositions from the world’s premier financial institutions, El Salvador is adopting Bitcoin in every possible way. They haven’t stopped by legalizing BTC in the country. El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has proposed the use of geothermal energy (generated by the abundantly available volcanoes) for powering cryptocurrency mining farms.
El Salvador is expanding its cryptocurrency infrastructure in a big way, right from mining to distribution, so that the country can embrace this alternative currency in a big way.