Survey Shows Bitcoin Unpopular in El Salvador

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In Brief
  • Many Salvadorans are not in favor of bitcoin, despite their government adopting it as legal tender.

  • In June, El Salvador became the first country to pass such a policy.

  • Earlier, a group of citizens and opposition candidates have filed a lawsuit against the bitcoin law in El Salvador.

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Many Salvadorans seem to be not so in favor of bitcoin, despite their government recently adopting the cryptocurrency as legal tender.

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This is according to a survey of 1,233 people across El Salvador conducted by pollster Disruptiva, affiliated with the local Francisco Gavidia University. The results aren’t particularly favorable for the country’s recent adoption of BTC. Some 54% of people said the bitcoin adoption was “not at all correct.” Another 24% then described it as “only a little correct.”

In total, actually less than 20% approved of the cryptocurrency plan. The poll also showed that 46% of respondents knew “nothing” about bitcoin. Ultimately, nearly 65% said they would not be open to being paid in the cryptocurrency. “This is a risky bet on digital transformation,” said Oscar Picardo, head of Disruptiva’s institute of science, technology and innovation. 

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Bitcoin law adoption

The poll comes in response to El Salvador recently adopting bitcoin as legal tender. El Salvador President Nayib Bukele initially spoke about the benefits during the recent bitcoin conference in Miami. These included an increase in jobs and boosted investments in El Salvador, in addition to facilitating remittance payments from Salvadorans living abroad.

Shortly thereafter on June 9, President Bukele submitted a bill that would recognize BTC as legal tender in the country. The bill then passed, making El Salvador the first country in the world to pass such a policy. With the adoption underway, President Bukele announced that he would use energy from volcanoes to power BTC mining.

But, as the survey demonstrates, El Salvador’s adoption of BTC hasn’t been universally favored. Last month, a citizen group, led by opposition politician Jaime Guevara, filed a lawsuit against the country. Members of the group of citizens said the adoption of the cryptocurrency as legal tender has no “legal basis.” However, one lawyer thinks the lawsuit may actually be a ruse instigated by the government to legitimize its bitcoin law.

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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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