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Bitcoin dips on first day as legal tender in El Salvador

08 Sep 2021 / technology Print

Bitcoin dips on first day as legal tender in El Salvador

El Salvador’s first day using Bitcoin as legal tender was marked by protests, technological glitches and falling values.

The price of Bitcoin yesterday crashed to its lowest in nearly a month, falling from $52,000 (£37,730) to under $43,000 at one point.

Bitcoin tumbled on its first day as legal tender, falling up to 20%.

An opposition politician claimed the fall caused one of Latin America's poorest countries to lose $3m.

Tech platforms such as Apple and Huawei didn’t support the government-backed digital wallet, known as Chivo.

Online crashes occurred as servers went offline, after they couldn't keep up with user registrations.

"It was a very bad day for President Nayib Bukele, his government and his Bitcoin experiment," opposition politician Johnny Wright Sol told the BBC.

Rushed through

The politician said Bitcoin was not an apt national currency and was rushed through: "The Bitcoin law was approved in parliament with hardly any debate.

“It took only about five hours to go through.

"We're not cryptocurrency or Bitcoin haters, but we don't believe that it should be compulsory that businesses should be obligated to accept Bitcoin in payment 

"The state is backing these payments and assuming the risk but at the end of the day us taxpayers are all the state."

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland