The successful introduction of bitcoin as legal money in El Salvador on Tuesday was hit by several issues, including the appearance of furious individuals distrusting the technology, technological malfunctions, and a decrease in the cryptocurrency's value.
President Nayib Bukele, the president of El Salvador, had some issues right out of the gate when he discovered that the government-backed bitcoin software was not accessible on the Apple App Store or Huawei.
According to President Nayib Bukele, food and drink businesses, including Starbucks Corp. and Pizza Hut Inc., accepted cryptocurrency payments from El Salvador after the country began using Bitcoin. The Starbucks franchise in El Salvador is taking bitcoin as payment for food and beverages at its locations, including drive-through and to-go options.
An initial $30 of bitcoin for each user was promised by Bukele, who encouraged its acceptance in the country by declaring that it could save Salvadorans $400 million annually in commission fees for remittances, in addition to allowing those without bank accounts to have access to financial services.
El Salvador's official currency has been the U.S. dollar since 2001, and the currency will remain legal tender. However, companies will also be allowed to accept bitcoin payments.
The consequences for firms who refuse to take bitcoin are yet unknown.
The government built ATMs that allow Chivo users to change bitcoin into dollars and withdraw the money without charge to avoid additional fees.
On Tuesday, anyone could pay for breakfast at McDonald's using Bitcoin in the Central American nation, the first day it was recognized as legal money.
The law requires businesses to take Bitcoin in return for their goods and services; however, it exempts those that lack the technology to receive the e-currency.
What looks like an ambitious mass adoption experiment like no other is yet to prove if it is sustainable for this nation in the future which is riddled with a 50% population living below the poverty range and limited access to technology and the internet.