Most Salvadorans Want Bitcoin Law Repealed According to Recent Poll

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In Brief
  • A majority of Salvadorans disagree with the government adopting Bitcoin as legal tender and want the legislation repealed.

  • Many also said that they were unaware of how to use the digital currency and were distrustful of the project, according to a poll by the Central American University (UCA).

  • Despite pushback, the government is pressing ahead with formalizing the cryptocurrency as legal tender on Sept 7.

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A majority of Salvadorans disagree with the government adopting Bitcoin as legal tender and want the legislation repealed.

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Many also said that they were unaware of how to use the digital currency and were distrustful of the project, according to a poll by the Central American University (UCA).

Bitcoin poll results

According to the poll from the Jesuit university based in El Salvador, at least 67.9% of 1,281 people surveyed said they disagree or strongly disagree with the use of bitcoin as a legal tender. Meanwhile, just over 32% of people said they agree on some level.

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The poll, carried out in August, also showed that 90% of people did not have a clear understanding of bitcoin. Another 80% said they had little or no confidence in its use, while 7 out of 10 thought lawmakers should repeal the Bitcoin law.

“What we can see in this survey, in addition to this broad rejection of the implementation of bitcoin as legal tender, is that for the first time we found a significant disagreement between the population and decisions being made by the Legislative Assembly and the president,” said UCA dean Andreu Oliva.

Additionally, the survey revealed that most Salvadorans believe the main beneficiaries will be the wealthy, such as foreign investors, as well as government and business leaders. “There is a lot of concern about the possible negative effects of using bitcoin,” Oliva concluded.

This wouldn’t be the first sign of dissent from the population. Last week, citizens took to the streets to protest the government’s decision. Earlier, a citizen group, led by opposition politician Jaime Guevara, filed a lawsuit against the country for adopting bitcoin as legal tender.

Government presses ahead

Meanwhile, despite the apparent pushback from the population, the government is pressing ahead with formalizing the cryptocurrency as legal tender on Sept. 7. Earlier this week, El Salvador’s Congress passed legislation to create a $150 million fund to facilitate Bitcoin to USD conversions. 

The fund will help provide for the 200 crypto ATMs and 50 consultation centers for the government digital wallet app “Chivo” that are being installed in different parts of the country. According to President Nayib Bukele, users will be able to deposit and withdraw money without paying commissions. The government released its first advertisement for the “Chivo” wallet earlier this week.

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Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage. He can best be described as an optimistic center-left skeptic.

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