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El Salvador’s Bukele Promotes Bitcoin, Clarifies Use ‘Will Be Optional’

Bukele promueve el uso del bitcoin con billetera digital, pero aclara que el uso "será opcional"


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The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, said on Thursday that the use of the bitcoin cryptocurrency will be optional.

“The use of bitcoin will be optional, that is, no one will receive bitcoin if they do not want it for any type of payment, it will be totally optional,” said the president in a national radio and television broadcast.

“No Salvadoran will be affected by this law. On the contrary, there will be many beneficiaries and we hope it will be one of the many things that will help us to move our country forward,” Bukele said.

“This law is made to generate jobs, investment and at no time will affect anyone as the opponents have tried to make believe with their dirty campaign trying to confuse Salvadorans,” he said.

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Bukele also pointed out that salaries and pensions “will continue to be paid in dollars” and that “bank accounts in dollars will not be converted to bitcoin.”

He stressed that the adoption of bitcoin seeks to “connect the country with the rest of the world, boost the economy and attract investment and tourism.”

How will bitcoin be adopted in El Salvador?

Bukele explained that the Government will create a digital wallet that will have an account in dollars and one in bitcoin, which can be downloaded in IOS and Android devices.

When downloading the application users will have to enter their documento único de identidad (identity card) number and cell phone number to register, he said.

“By simply downloading the app and registering you will receive 30 dollars equivalent in bitcoin for your consumption (…) when you receive the money you can choose whether you want bitcoin or not,” the president explained.

He pointed out that “those 30 dollars are to promote the use of bitcoin and to encourage people to download the app”, called Chivo and which, according to the president, will be compatible with “all electronic wallets in the world.”

Bukele added that the Bitcoin Law will enter into force on September 7 and that “it is a law that opens us to the world, it is a law that puts us in the eyes of the world for something good and innovative.”

The regulation, which has already been published in the Official Gazette after receiving the signature of President Bukele, contains only 16 articles and was approved in an “accelerated” manner, according to the Central American Institute for Fiscal Studies (Icefi).

The regulation makes El Salvador the first country in the world to give legal tender to the cryptocurrency.