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El Salvador surpasses half a million bitcoin wallet users and opens ATMs in the United States | The most important news and analysis in Latin America | DW

“We currently have more than half a million users (of the Chivo wallet),” Bukele wrote on Twitter, a week after El Salvador became the first country to use bitcoin as legal tender, in an effort to recover its stagnant economy, dollarized 20 years ago.

The “Chivo Wallet” is an electronic wallet that Salvadorans inside and outside the country can download on their cell phone to carry out transactions in this cryptocurrency. Those who install it receive the equivalent of $ 30 in bitcoin to start operating.

The president also reported that the 200 ATMs installed in different parts of the country “work perfectly”, as well as the 50 ATMs that were enabled in the US cities of San Francisco, El Doral, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Laredo and McAllen.

“In the United States we have Chivo ATMs (which you can use to recharge without paying commissions) where local legislation allows it,” the president explained. He explained that “technical errors” of the “Chivo Wallet” are corrected “by 95%” and promised that in the next few days it will be fully operational.

The option to recharge with any credit or debit card will also be enabled from Tuesday. It also eliminated the minimum amount of $ 5 necessary to carry out transactions with other wallets, which became one cent.

Capture of commissions for remittances from Salvadorans in the United States

At the local level, according to the president, “every day more businesses are added that accept payments in bitcoin or dollars, using other apps and also the Chivo Wallet. And remember that its use is optional,” said Bukele.

According to Salvadoran law, all businesses must have the technology to accept transactions in bitcoins. However, the business owner can choose between keeping the cryptocurrency or activating the option so that the final income falls in dollars.

The government hopes that the use of bitcoin contributes to the banking of the population and captures the more than 400 million dollars in commissions for remittances that Salvadorans send from abroad through financial entities. Sending money from abroad is an important engine of the Salvadoran economy, equivalent to 22% of GDP. Some 3 million Salvadorans live outside their territory, 2.5 million of them in the United States.

Tax exemption for foreigners?

The Nukele government has announced that it will exempt foreign investors from taxes on their Bitcoin earnings.

If El Salvador’s Bitcoin move survives the initial period without major problems, it could make big waves, especially in other South American countries. Panama, for example, could be the next state to legalize cryptocurrencies, as that country’s Congress is trying to pass a bill that would make Bitcoin and Altcoins accepted payment options in all sectors of its economy. .

jov (afp, t3n.de)

Tammy Sewell is our Writer and Social at OICanadian.com. Tammy loves sports, she writes our celebrities news. She spends time browsing through several celebs news sources as well the Instagram. Email: Tammy@oicanadian.com Phone: +1 513-209-1700

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