El Salvador’s President Najib Bukele claims that 2.1 million of its citizens use the government-backed cryptocurrency Chivo, which gives an indication of the apparent success of the Bitcoin (BTC) maneuver in the country.
The controversial president updated his 2.9 million Twitter followers on Saturday afternoon, stating that Chivo “now has more users than any bank in El Salvador” in just three weeks of operation. Bukele noted that it is only a matter of time before Chivo’s trust surpasses all the banks in El Salvador combined.
The state-of-the-art Chivo wallet launched in early September, when El Salvador officially recognized Bitcoin as legal tender, which could serve as an important example for other countries in the region. Chivo allows individuals and businesses to send and receive payments in Bitcoin or USD from anywhere in the world. The wallet is available on both Android and Apple devices. As reported by Cointelegraph, Mexican crypto exchange Bitso has registered as Chivo’s primary service provider.
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Bukele’s latest update indicates that the bitcoin law is well received across the country, although hundreds of anti-government protesters have taken to the streets to voice their opposition. On September 15, these protests culminated in the burning of a cryptocurrency booth in the country’s capital.
The massive adoption of Chivo is likely in part due to the government dumping 30 BTC for every Salvadoran account holder. More than half of Salvadorans are unfamiliar with bitcoin, according to a recent poll by Sherlock Communications from São Paulo.
Meanwhile, the Bukele government has filled its coffers with BTC after a series of volatile price swings for the digital asset. El Salvador “bought the dip” after at least two recent price drops – September 7 and 20 – and brought its total holdings to 700 bitcoins.