Source: iStock / mattjeacock
The citizens of El Salvador learned about their new legal tender, cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) – and started buying everything from Big Macs to freshly brewed coffee on the Lightning Network.
The government-issued Chivo crypto wallet overcame some initial teething troubles in app stores and marketplaces and catapulted itself to the top of the Apple Store’s financial app download list – a fact that was immediately celebrated by Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele.
From El Salvador, Mario Aguiluz, Vice President of Sales at the Guatemalan brokerage IBEX market posted a video of his purchase of a. divided Starbucks Coffee for BTC, with a transaction that took moments to approve using a barista’s cellphone.
He noted that “El Salvador today feels like a scavenger hunt to find out who else accepts Bitcoin.”
Add to this list Pizza Hut. Bart Mol, the founder and host of the Satoshi Radio Podcast, tweeted some of his Bitcoin Day adventures in El Salvador, including a “totally unattended” transaction at the restaurant “using our own node in the Netherlands” for a cost of “26 Sats. “
“This is so dope,” he wrote.
Other international reporters also noted that they were successful in their Bitcoin spending efforts.
Notable BTC supporters shared their support with Michael Saylor, the CEO of BTC-keen MicroStrategy, who describes Bitcoin on the Lightning Network as “indestructible money that moves at the speed of light”.
Edward Snowden, who like Saylor also shared videos of major brands accepting BTC payments in San Salvador, stepped in, noting:
“[There is] now pressure on competing nations to acquire Bitcoin – if only as a reserve – as its design provides a massive incentive for early adoption. Latecomers can regret the hesitation. “
A triumphant Jack Mallers, the CEO of Beat, the company that worked with Bukele on its Lightning journey, also provided video evidence that a “friend” converted BTC into cash in a “toll-free” transaction using one of the government’s new BTC ATMs.
In the meantime, domestic companies have also been active, hoping to make sure they aren’t pushed out of the crypto-commerce parties by big global brands like Starbucks and Pizza Hut.
A variety of local businesses used the social media channels to explain that they also accept BTC payments – from organic “gourmet cafes” and recording studios to women’s fashion brands and telecommunications providers.
Even dry cleaners and dentists got involved.
But there was also no lack of pushback. El Diario de Hoy reported that “hundreds” of Salvadorans took to the streets in a “massive” protest against the new law that made BTC legal tender yesterday at midnight.
The same media company pointed out possible privacy concerns with the government-issued software. It found that the Chivo app is asking users to grant their microphone, camera and storage access, as well as access to their contacts.
The newspaper quoted a computer scientist as saying:
“There are other digital wallets that don’t ask for or need this kind of information. It is unnecessary.”
A local software programmer said this was an example of “very bad privacy and data protection practices”.
– Bitcoin legal in El Salvador – but still has a mountain to climb
– Bitcoin becomes legal tender with an unfriendly welcome from Apple & Google
– Bitcoiners urge the community to do a ‘GameStop’ style Bitcoin pump for $ 30 for El Salvador
– Polls: The majority of the population of El Salvador is against the Bitcoin introduction law
– IMF says making Bitcoin a national currency is an “inadvisable shortcut”
– El Salvador will be a serious test of Bitcoin’s Layer 2 networks
– Government of El Salvador: We issue Bitcoin – but don’t convert it to Fiat
– World Bank accused of ignorance and hypocrisy as it refuses to help El Salvador
– Understand what El Salvador’s President Bukele turned into Bitcoin
-El Salvador Brings New Global Mystery – What Is Bitcoin And How Is It Taxed?
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