Home Foreign News Bitcoin crashes on first day El Salvador accepted it as legal tender

Bitcoin crashes on first day El Salvador accepted it as legal tender

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Bitcoin crashes on first day El Salvador accepted it as legal tender

Angry protests, technological glitches and a plummet in value marked the first day of El Salvador adopting Bitcoin as legal tender.

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

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

The rollout of bitcoin in El Salvador was far from what President Nayib Bukele would have envisaged when he began his bold experiment.

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Bitcoin crashes on first day El Salvador accepted it as legal tender

Platforms such as Apple and Huawei weren’t offering the government-backed digital wallet, known as Chivo, and servers had to be pulled offline after they couldn’t keep up with user registrations.

But, as the day went on, Chivo began appearing on more platforms and was accepted by the likes of Starbucks and McDonald’s.

The government has even given Salvadorans $30 each of Bitcoin to encourage its adoption. It says bitcoin could save the country $400m a year in transaction fees on funds sent from abroad.

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However, using data from the World Bank and the government, the BBC calculates this to be closer to $170m.

“We must break the paradigms of the past,” President Bukele tweeted. “El Salvador has the right to advance towards the first world.”

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