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Salvador street protest breaks out against bitcoin adoption

Stock MarketsSep 07, 2021 04:29PM ET
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5/5 © Reuters. A person holds a sign that reads 'The Bitcoin bill must be repealed, it will bring more corruption and poverty', as people participate in a protest against the use of Bitcoin as legal tender, in San Salvador, El Salvador, September 7, 2021. REUTERS/Jose C 2/5

By Wilfredo Pineda

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - More than 1,000 people marched in El Salvador's capital on Tuesday to protest the adoption of bitcoin as legal tender, amid a bumpy initial rollout of systems to support the digital currency.

The protesters burned a tire and set off fireworks in front of the Supreme Court building around noon local time, as the government deployed heavily militarized police to the site of the protest.

"This is a currency that's not going to work for pupusa vendors, bus drivers or shopkeepers," said a San Salvador resident who opposed the adoption of the cryptocurrency. Pupusas are a traditional Salvadoran corn-based food.

"This is a currency that's ideal for big investors who want to speculate with their economic resources."

The protest came as El Salvador's government was rushing to iron out technological snags https://www.reuters.com/business/finance/el-salvador-leads-world-into-cryptocurrency-bitcoin-legal-tender-2021-09-07 in bitcoin's first-day rollout.

Earlier on Tuesday, Salvadorans trying to download the Chivo digital wallet found it was unavailable on popular app stores. Then Bukele tweeted that the government had temporarily unplugged it, in order to connect more servers to deal with demand.

A group of people in Chivo tee-shirts at a stall to train people interested in using the app milled around waiting for it to be reconnected.

It later appeared on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Huawei's stores, and Bukele used Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) to ask users to let him know how it was working.

Polls indicate many Salvadorans are wary of the volatility of the cryptocurrency, which can shed hundreds of dollars in value in a day. That view is shared by many economists worried at how it will affect economic stability.

However, others have embraced it as a way ordinary people in a poor country can invest in financial markets.

Ahead of the launch, El Salvador bought 400 bitcoins worth around $20 million, Bukele said, helping drive the price of the currency above $52,000 for the first time since May. Hours later, however, bitcoin had weakened and last traded down 8.84% at $47,327.32. [L8N2Q927A]

Salvador street protest breaks out against bitcoin adoption
 

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Comments (14)
Bob Silva
Bob Silva Sep 07, 2021 8:31PM ET
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You now have your coins tied to an unstable county where poor citizens will fight corrupt government for decades, with your investment in the middle, what could go wrong?! The reputation of bitcoin supporters affect its price.
James Pattison
James Pattison Sep 07, 2021 8:08PM ET
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Goverments all over the world are inflating their currencies to unsafe levels… the money you habe in your savings will be worth a fraction of what it is today… protect your wealth and your family… use btc as a savings account to hedge against currency debasement… if what i say does not make sense to you… you dont… understand… crypto
ZS Beck
ZS Beck Sep 07, 2021 8:08PM ET
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Sure, let's wait how Central banks around the world will like the idea when the government decided to buy Crypto over government bonds.Let see what happens.
Juniper Ls
Juniper Ls Sep 07, 2021 8:08PM ET
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I am concerned.
short gold
short gold Sep 07, 2021 8:08PM ET
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LOL How inflated is bit coin 1000x inflated over USD BITCOIN was a less then a dollar 20 yeas ago
James Pattison
James Pattison Sep 07, 2021 7:56PM ET
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More than a thousand people?? The real story here is the richest elites in El Salvador dont want to lose control of the country they thought they bought… and the central banking system… the people will take back control… 1,000 people… pssshhh
Jack Zydron
Jack Zydron Sep 07, 2021 7:52PM ET
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usless garbage, it should be banned. people need to go back to work instead and do something that actually brings some value and serve anything
HD HD
HD HD Sep 07, 2021 7:24PM ET
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el Salvador is a poor country. how does someone who can't even afford a cell phone buy buy crypto ?
James Pattison
James Pattison Sep 07, 2021 7:24PM ET
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You dont understand crypto at all
Bob Mcadoo
Bob Mcadoo Sep 07, 2021 7:24PM ET
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What were they thinking? Jesus christ bro
Millennial Metals
Millennial Metals Sep 07, 2021 7:04PM ET
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LOL Ponzi coin pumpers get REKT
James Pattison
James Pattison Sep 07, 2021 7:04PM ET
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The real ponzi is central banking system and an unelected fed that is controlled by big banks… you dont understand crypto
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Sep 07, 2021 6:25PM ET
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When this experiment fails in it will it will probably mean the end for Bitcoin as people soon realize that the idea that Bitcoin is going to be the currency of the future is just a millennial fantasy for people who want to appear to be dialed into tech and it's future.  It's not even an investment anymore it's just a way of creating an identity for millennials.  Buy gold and hold millinniul bros
clayton park
clayton park Sep 07, 2021 6:25PM ET
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agreed
James Pattison
James Pattison Sep 07, 2021 6:25PM ET
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Gold, silver and fiat are controlled by central banks… ill buy more crypto
Mike Mike
Mike Mike Sep 07, 2021 5:58PM ET
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Do they know what bitcoin is? They don't even have running water and electricity!
James Pattison
James Pattison Sep 07, 2021 5:58PM ET
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Youre the smartest guy you know
Brook Buck
Brook Buck Sep 07, 2021 5:51PM ET
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That's a good use of US aid money. I still remember the time people lining up at ATMs to draw money in a developing country, maybe history will repeat itself.
 
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