200 Bitcoin ATMs installed in El Salvador ahead of legal tender adoption


El Salvador began installing crypto ATMs as the country enters the last two weeks of preparation for the big day when Bitcoin (BTC) will claim its legal tender status.

The Bitcoin Law, effectively ushered by President Nayib Bukele through parliament in June, will take effect on September 7.

200 Bitcoin ATMs and 50 financial branches across the country

The government is installing 200 Bitcoin ATMs and 50 financial branches across the country which will enable Salvadorans to convert the cryptocurrency into US dollars and withdraw it in cash, said the President on Twitter.

All transactions will be commission-free and carried out through the official digital wallet dubbed Chivo, meaning “cool,” he added as he reassured citizens that the choice of opting for US dollars won’t be taken away from them.

“With this application, you can accept payments in Bitcoin or in Dollars, open a small business and run it from there, receive money from family or friends and send and receive remittances without paying a single penny of commission to anyone,” said Bukele, adding that adopting Bitcoin could save Salvadorans $400 million per year in fees for receiving remittances from abroad.

In an effort to incentivize the adoption, those who opt for Bitcoin (BTC) and choose to download the Chivo application will receive $30 worth of Bitcoin for consumption, as previously announced. 

Everyone will realize the reality on September 7

The legal tender adoption raised a lot of controversy from the get-go, initiated with the World Bank refusal to assist El Salvador with integrating Bitcoin into its financial infrastructure and followed by the International Monetary Fund warning about economic implications and legal risks that could surface as a consequence of such bold legislation.

This was accompanied by public opinion surveys that culminated with protests.

While some financial institutions continued raising their doubts, others acknowledged the key benefits of the legal tender adoption.

In the midst of it all, Bukele remained determined, saying nothing can stop Bitcoin from seeing widespread adoption in El Salvador as he focused on the economic relief and investment opportunities that his initiative could bring to the country.  

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