El Salvador to Send $30 Worth of Bitcoin to Each of its 6.5 Million Citizens

By Ben Carey June 29, 2021 In Bitcoin, Crypto Wallets

Nayib Bukele, the President of El Salvador, has revealed that each of the Central American republic’s 6.5 million citizens will be entitled to US$30 worth of Bitcoin if they sign up to use the government’s Bitcoin wallet, Chivo.

According to Numbeo, which assesses the cost of living in countries around the world, the average person in El Salvador earns around US$13 per day. So the airdrop represents over two days’ worth of wages.

President Nayib Bukele reveals Chivo, the El Salvador government’s Bitcoin wallet. Source: Documenting BTC

The move aligns well with the president’s recent statement that his country is adopting Bitcoin for the benefit of the people. Although every citizen of El Salvador will be entitled to the airdrop, Bukele stressed that nobody will be forced to use Bitcoin if they don’t want to:

The use of Bitcoin will be optional. Nobody will receive Bitcoin if they don’t want it […] If someone receives a payment in Bitcoin, they can choose to automatically receive it in [US] dollars.

Nayib Bukele

The CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao (also known as CZ), applauded the move, no doubt aware that a large portion of these new users will use Binance to trade crypto in the future.

An Expensive Ad Campaign

The Bitcoin airdrop is a costly attempt by the El Salvadorean government to convince citizens to use its preferred wallet, Chivo. The scheme could cost the government around US$100 million if at least half of the population decides to take up its offer.

So what’s in it for the government? Some argue it is merely an effort to kickstart an ambitious economic transition. Others are far more sceptical.

El Salvador is Wasting No Time

Things are moving quickly in El Salvador. It was only weeks ago that it became the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. Since then, Athena Bitcoin announced it will be installing 1,000 Bitcoin ATMs across El Salvador, while Chainbytes announced that it wants to make El Salvador the hub of its crypto ATM operations for all of the Americas.

Problems With the World Bank

On a practical level, El Salvador has been having some issues with the World Bank, which has refused to help with the implementation of the country’s new Bitcoin ecosystem.

This could be a major logistical problem for El Salvador, or perhaps just a temporary roadblock; we will have to wait and see. One thing is for certain – Bukele won’t be focusing on the negatives. The President will keep his laser eyes trained on his vision of progress and economic revolution.

Ben Carey

Ben Carey

Ben Carey is a Brisbane-based writer, with a wide range of experience, from copywriting to game design and film and tv scriptwriting. He's been following, investing, and trading crypto since 2017. He has three lambos (in Gran Turismo), and can often be seen around town wearing a Bitcoin or Ethereum themed Christmas sweater.

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