El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt it on Tuesday Bitcoin as legal tender and as they claim will reduce the cost of supply for billions of dollars shipped overseas. But critics have warned that it could fuel money laundering.
Led by the young, charismatic and popular President Nayib Bukele, the plan aims to allow Salvadoran savings of $ 400 million a year in remittance commissions, mostly from the United States.
Last year alone, remittances to El Salvador totaled nearly $ 6 billion, or 23% of its gross domestic product, one of the highest in the world.
Opinion polls suggest Salvadorians are wary of using it Bitcoin as well as cryptocurrency volatility that critics say could increase regulatory and financial risks for financial institutions. However, some residents are optimistic.
In anticipation of its release, the government has already installed an ATM of the Chivo digital wallet that will allow the cryptocurrency to be converted into dollars and withdrawn without commission, but Boukele on Monday eased public expectations for quick results and asked citizens to be patient.
El Salvador bought the first 400 cryptocurrencies on Monday, temporarily pushing its price Bitcoin 1,49% higher (the exchange rate reached $ 52.680). Cryptocurrency is typically volatile. This spring, its price exceeded $ 64,000 in April and dropped to almost $ 30,000 in May.
Analysts fear that the move will become the legal currency of Bitcoin in parallel with the US dollar could blur the prospects of El Salvador's attempt to seek a more than $ 1 billion financing agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
After Boukele's law on Bitcoin, the rating agency Moody's downgraded the creditworthiness of El Salvador, while the country's bonds in dollars also came under pressure.