Many businesses reject the use of Bitcoin as a risk to their profits, but on the other side of the coin, there are also some who have begun to test.
Alejandro Martínez, owner of Pizzas Perronas on the Paseo Santa Catarina in the municipality of Apopa, has become very popular after deciding to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment at his establishment.
Without knowing how the cryptocurrency will be used for sure from September 7, the entrepreneur has ventured to experiment and use it based on what he has learned online.
“It is a very interesting initiative for us, we are going to live and not speculate things; we are the result that changes are hard but bring growth and maturity. We are going to promote this new method without prejudice and based on experience and not what others say. We accept cash and Bitcoins, ”Alejandro posted on his Facebook page, which was a sensation among his followers.
For the 28-year-old young man from Apop, it has not been easy for him to undertake any more in times of a pandemic, but his desire led him to always be firm. “During the pandemic I had to diversify, I delivered, I did everything to survive economically and it was good for me, I innovated to respond to the needs of the same customers in the framework of the pandemic,” he said.
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“I have always been a man who has liked to win and my idea is to become a local reference for others. Now that the law has been passed, we are preparing. I am not a specialist but you can find everything on the internet and that is how I have learned what I know ”, he assured.
The young man has searched for several videos on YouTube and that is how he has understood the use of cryptocurrency.
The Bitcoin Law, approved expressly and without consultation in the Legislative Assembly, will enter into force on September 7, 2021. The most controversial article of the law is the one that obliges all economic agents (businesses) to accept bitcoins in addition to Dollars, a currency that has been used in El Salvador since 2001.
Last week the Central Bank launched a regulation on the use of Bitcoin for public consultation, but this does not explain anything about how businesses will use it.
In his business, Alejandro is experimenting with cryptocurrency, through the Strike application, one of the various virtual wallets that can already be downloaded.
“I downloaded the Strike application and they give you a dollar just for the download, that’s when I saw a business possibility,” he said.
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Strike is a mobile application that can be downloaded from the stores for iOS and Android systems. The application requests email account, phone number and codes that the same application sends.
Alejandro realized that by sharing the application for other users to download, he also received the same amount, that is, another dollar. “Many were very excited to want to use it and came here to help them and that’s how I started to see income just for recommending it for others to download. For each one, we earn a dollar, ”he said.
He also commented that due to the demand of his clientele to know the experience of cryptocurrencies, he has become a “exchange house” where customers arrive and can download the application and change dollars to bitcoins. “If someone tells me: I want to have more money, I transfer them and charge them 5%, for example. They give me $ 5.25 and I transfer $ 5.00 to their virtual wallet, so they can buy a $ 5.00 pizza and have that experience, “he explained.
Over time, other owners of premises in Apopa have approached to guide them, a service that the young man has not allowed to waste since he already charges $ 2.00 per person for “advising” on the use of Bitcoin.
“Several people have come here to tell me that they want to learn, that I explain them. What I learned from Bitcoin was on the internet. Now I can advise others on how they can apply it to their business and I help them. This is how they win and I win, apart from the fact that there is more movement from various venues ”, he said.
Because the government has not given a clear explanation of how this law will be implemented, many are uncertain and concerned about how it works. “The government has not explained very well but I believe that it is the responsibility of each one to educate themselves on this issue, because there is no going back; I see a business opportunity in that ”, he added.
Alejandro hopes that now that many know that he receives Bitcoin, when the government delivers the $ 30 it has promised, many will come to buy his pizzas and there will be more movement in his wallet.
Bitcoin has reached Aguilares
A large “We accept Bitcoin” sign also stands out in one of the motorcycle repair shops in Aguilares. It is about Power Cycles in which René Antonio Alfaro is its owner. The young man commented that when he saw all the publicity that was around the Bitcoin topic, he was very curious to learn.
“I watched videos, read various blogs, everything about cryptocurrencies and that’s how I learned; I had to read a lot to understand because the only information is what is on the internet ”, he said.
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He also added “after seeing which wallet convinced me, I decided to download Strike and I registered and began to send the links to my friends so that they could download it and so it was that when I already had some (money) and I decided that I could receive Bitcoin in my business ”, he narrated.
René assured that investing his money in a motorcycle repair business has been very good, since in the municipality there are many who have opted for this transport and that is why he sees an opportunity to enter the use of cryptocurrency to continue growing.
“When customers see the sign that Bitcoin is accepted some people laugh, others are curious and others come and tell us that they will never use it,” he said.
The young man added that they are anticipating when the government launches its official wallet. “There are customers who have downloaded the application and already have a dollar and buy items from me, for example, if it is worth $ 6.00 they give me $ 5.00 and they pay me with the dollar (which they give them in the wallet), they see a profit with that”, counted.
He even said that there are clients who have told him that when they receive the $ 30 (which the government will give from public funds) “they will come to spend it here, especially on purchases of motorcycle batteries.”
“Young people are the most enthusiastic about this new currency, but there are also many older people who are more reluctant to change,” he said.
René also pointed out that “the government needs to provide more education in relation to the issue, because many are afraid; right now those of us who know are because we have read it on the internet ”.
Just 11 days before the law enters into force, CABEI (Central American Bank for Economic Integration) announced yesterday that it will carry out a consultancy for the implementation of the Bitcoin Law.