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El Salvador officially adopted bitcoin as its national currency Tuesday. First the country announced its Bitcoin law back in June.
El Salvador President Nayib Bukele said that the country purchased 400 bitcoins, worth around $20 million. Yet, according to the World Bank, only 30% of Salvadorans even had a bank account in 2017. The country’s internet connection isn’t much better, either. According to a 2020 study, El Salvador had the second lowest internet penetration across Latin America and the Caribbean.
Since the law came into effect, the country bought an additional 150 bitcoin. Bukele lauded the purchase, tweeting “we saved a million in printed paper.” But the app the government approved to help Salvadorians manage their bitcoin hit a snag on its first day. As a result, the president took to Twitter to ask the public to check for errors on the app. Some responded that they did not receive their promised introductory $30 for joining the app for the first time.
Meanwhile, the president stands accused of being under the influence of China. On the latest episode of the Sara Carter Show, Central Intelligence liaison officer Jerry Torres said as much. “The El Salvador president, He’s pretty new,” Torres told Carter. “He’s under the thumb of Chinese right now.”
This year over 74,000 from Salvadorians crossed the United States southern border, where bitcoin is nowhere near becoming a national currency. Just a week ago former President Trump appeared on Fox Business to say that he is “not a big fan” of bitcoin because it’s “”potentially a disaster waiting to happen.” However, globally, the digital currency has been performing relatively well for the past two weeks.
You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.
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