The swift adoption of a law recognizing bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador has been poorly received by some citizens. Protests against bitcoin were held in the country.
A group of El Salvadorian citizens, made up of left-wing unions and student associations, protested against Bitcoin’s legal tender in El Salvador, meeting in front of the country’s Legislature. The rally was held despite a three-month ban on protests to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
A group organized by the Block of Resistance and Popular Uprising used banners and slogans demanding the repeal of the law that makes BTC legal tender and obliges companies to accept it for payments. According to earlier estimates, about 77% of Salvadorans oppose the law.
“This law creates legal insecurity and can be used to defraud users and facilitate money and asset laundering,” activist Idalia Zuñiga said.
Another protester expressed concern about bitcoin price volatility.
“For those who receive the minimum wage, this is critical. One moment you may have $ 300 in BTC, and the next day that $ 300 could turn into $ 50, ”she said, noting the fall in the price of BTC from a high of $ 63,595 in April to $ 30,000 in July.
Protesters also recalled President Nayib Bukele’s control over all branches of El Salvador’s government, which led to the swift adoption of the law. The bill usually has to go through a process of scrutiny, consultation and adaptation, while the law to accept bitcoin as a legal tender was approved less than six hours after Bukele formally presented it to Congress. Although the law has already been approved, it will take effect 90 days after it was passed. Salvadorans will be required to accept BTC for payments from September.
As a reminder, in June Bukele recognized bitcoin as legal tender in the country. However, the World Bank, IMF and other large organizations were critical of this move. For example, the World Bank refused to help El Salvador integrate bitcoin into the financial system. According to a recent report by JPMorgan analysts, the use of BTC in the El Salvadorian economy is facing obstacles, which indicate possible “restrictions” on the use of the cryptoasset as a means of payment.