Millions of People in El Salvador Could Soon Receive Free Bitcoin

According to a report by Reuters, El Salvador President Nayib Bukele announced during a national address on Thursday (June 24) that the bill to make Bitcoin legal tender will become effective on September 7.

As you may remember, the “Bitcoin Law” got passed by the Legislative Assembly on June 9.

Here are a few highlights from President Bukele’s speech (as reported by “La Prensa Gráfica”, one of the country’s most popular daily newspapers):

  • The English translation of Article 7 of the Bitcoin Law states: “Every economic agent must accept bitcoin as payment when offered to him by whoever acquires a good or service.” However, the president said assured the people of El Salvador that “nobody has to receive bitcoins if they don’t want them”.
  • Pensions and salaries will continue to be paid in U.S. dollars.
  • Bank account balances will remain in U.S. dollars (i.e. not get converted to Bitcoin).
  • The president pointed out that Article 7 of the Bitcoin law that those who do not have the technology to accept Bitcoin do not have to accept it. The English translation of Article 7 states: “Those who, by evident and notorious fact, do not have access to the technologies that allow them to carry out transactions in bitcoin are excluded from the obligation expressed in Art. 7 of this law. The State will promote the necessary training and mechanisms so that the population can access bitcoin transactions.”
  • The government is building an electronic wallet called “Chivo” that will be able to hold both USD and BTC. This mobile app will be available for downloading from the iOS and Android app stores from September 7. Any El Salvador citizen who registers the wallet (which will require entering their Unique Identity Document number and cell phone number, as well as submitting to a face scan) can receive $30 worth of Bitcoin from the government (but it seems that they can choose to opt out and receive this amount in USD instead). The president said that “those 30 dollars are to promote the use of bitcoin and to encourage people to download the App”.
  • The Chivo wallet will allow withdrawals at ATMs (but it is not known yet what the commission will be).
  • The Development Bank of El Salvador (Bandesal) will guarantee automatic convertibility, which means that businesses that get paid in BTC can choose to receive USD.

Binance Co-Founder and CEO Changing Zhao (aka “CZ”) applauded this move by El Salvador, and seemed delighted at the possibility that there could soon be millions of Bitcoiners in the Central American nation.

DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.

IMAGE CREDIT

Photo by “petre_barlea” via Pixabay

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