El Salvador has more than 500,000 Chivo wallet users transacting with Bitcoin. The Chivo Wallet system has also opened ATMs in nine U.S. cities, according to President Nayib Bukele.
“We currently have over 500,000 users (using the Chivo wallet),” Bukele wrote on Twitter, a week after El Salvador became the first country to use bitcoin as legal tender to revive its stalled economy, adding 20 years ago.
“Chivo Wallet” is an electronic wallet that Salvadorans, both domestic and foreign, can download on their mobile phones to trade in this cryptocurrency. Those who install it receive the equivalent of $30 in Bitcoin to start trading.
The president also reported that the 200 ATMs installed in various parts of the country are “working well,” as well as 50 operating in U.S. cities including San Francisco, Eldoral, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, and others. ATMs, Laredo and McCarran.
“In the U.S., we have Chivo ATMs (which you can use to top up money without paying commissions) that are allowed by local law,” the president explained. He explained that the “technical error” of the Chivo Wallet has been corrected “95 percent of the time.” ” and promises to be fully operational within the next few days.
The top-up option for any credit or debit card will also be available from Tuesday. It also removed the $5 minimum required to transact with other wallets, turning it into 1 cent.
Receive commissions for remittances from Salvadorans in the United States
At the local level, according to government officials, “more businesses are using other apps and Chivo wallets every day to accept payments in bitcoin or U.S. dollars. Remember, its use is optional,”Bukele said.
Under El Salvadoran law, all businesses must have the technology to accept bitcoin transactions. However, business owners can choose to keep the cryptocurrency or activate the option so that the final income is denominated in USD.
The government hopes the use of Bitcoin will help people with their banking and earn more than $400 million in commissions for Salvadorans to send money from abroad through financial entities. Remittances from abroad are an important driver of El Salvador’s economy, equivalent to 22% of GDP. About 3 million Salvadorans live outside their territory, 2.5 million of them in the United States.
Tax free for foreigners?
The Nukele government has announced that it will exempt foreign investors from taxes on their bitcoin income.
If the Bitcoin movement in El Salvador does not have major problems early on, it could make waves, especially in other South American countries. For example, Panama could be the next country to legalize cryptocurrencies, as the country’s Congress is trying to pass a bill that would make Bitcoin and altcoins an accepted payment option in all areas of its economy.