today is Aug 18, 2022

San Salvador Image: Nueva Plaza Libertad in San Salvador, capital of El Salvador. Via Wikimedia Commons

A week out from El Salvador’s adoption of BTC as legal tender, the country’s legislative assembly has approved a US$150 million trust to help facilitate exchange between BTC and the U.S. dollar – the nation’s current official currency, according to a report by local newspaper El Diario de Hoy.

Fast facts

  • Last week, Forkast.News reported that in preparation for the launch, the country was rolling out 200 Bitcoin ATMs linked to the state-backed digital wallet “Chivo” for quick transfer between crypto and fiat. The wallet also is interoperable with any other crypto wallet.
  • Of the funds, $23.3 million will go toward building the Chivo ATM system, and another $30 million with be used to help educate citizens on how to use the Chivo wallet. “We have several teams in the territory to show the population how to use the Chivo wallet. We have developed a friendly application so that all Salvadorans can learn to use this cryptocurrency,” said the minister of economy, María Luisa Hayém Brevé.
  • Hayém Brevé also said there was a chance the $150 million fund could be increased if needed.
  • The government of El Salvador recently released the first advertisement for Bitcoin, a short animation explaining when the adoption will happen and how to use it, while also attempting to assuage concerns some may have about the plan. The ad also reminded residents they will be gifted US$30 worth of BTC if they download Chivo.
  • El Salvador will become the first country to adopt BTC as legal tender on Sept. 7 when the bill legislating the move takes effect. Despite the controversial bill stipulating BTC must be accepted by businesses and governments, President Nayib Bukele has recently clarified that citizens and businesses will not be obliged to accept BTC — pushing the ATMs as a way to avoid holding BTC if people do not wish to do so.
  • The planned adoption does not have wide support within the country, with a recent poll finding less than 20% of El Salvadorans supporting the move, as the country’s capital San Salvador has seen protests over the issue in the past.

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