El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, announced that the country’s crypto wallet, the Chivo, will be ready to download as of September 7, together with US$ 30 in Bitcoin added during the setup process.
In a Twitter thread, President Bukele stressed that the use of the Chivo wallet is optional but that it will allow users to make payments in Bitcoin or US dollars between individuals and businesses wherever they are in the world.
Bukele, a crypto enthusiast who has driven El Salvador to become the first country in the world to make Bitcoin legal tender, also stated that users will be able to retain their Bitcoin and then withdraw it in cash at 200 of El Salvador’s cashpoints, to be known as ‘Cajeros Chivos’. The government is also adding 50 ‘Puntos Chivos’ which will allow deposits and withdrawals whilst also providing cryptocurrency education to the public.
"“Although El Salvador’s economy is very small and unique in many ways, Blockchain technology enthusiasts, like us at Dynasty, are watching developments there as a key experiment in putting cryptos at the core of a country’s banking and financial system”, commented Fabio Asdurian, the co-founder and co-CEO of Dynasty Global Investments AG."
It is believed that one of the reasons President Bukele drove the move to make Bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador is the fact that the country’s economy is highly dependent on remittance from its citizens working abroad, especially in the United States. Transactions in crypto may make it easier and cheaper for Salvadorans abroad to send money to family and friends back in the country.
President Bukele also spoke in the past about his hopes of attracting at least a small fraction of the world’s crypto businesses and activities as the country becomes a pioneer in digital currencies. However, there is also scepticism in relation to the move and the World Bank turned down El Salvador’s request for assistance to roll out the concept.