El Salvador announces national Bitcoin wallet and plans to distribute $ 117 million in BTC to citizens
The President of El Salvador announced that it would launch the country’s official Bitcoin wallet, Chivo, in September, giving users $ 30 in BTC.
El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has announced Chivo, the country’s official Bitcoin wallet that will allow Salvadorans to hold both BTC and USD balances as a mobile app. The government will also be granting a $ 30 bitcoin bonus to those who download Chivo and register for Chivo after it launches in September.
El Salvador will be granting this Bitcoin bonus for two reasons, according to the announcement.
“First, to promote the use of Bitcoin in the economy,” said Bukele. “Second, so that people have an incentive to use and download the application and that way start the system … so you can go to a local business and everyone has bitcoin because everyone has the same incentive to have them App downloaded. “
The $ 30 bonus is granted in Bitcoin based on the market value of the BTC / USD pair at the time of registration. Additionally, users can hold both USD and BTC balances in Chivo and exchange money between the two balances at any time. Chivo shows the amount held in each balance in both USD and BTC.
Chivo, the official Bitcoin wallet from El Salvador. Source: Chivo wallet.
In addition, the Bitcoin wallet allows users to make payments and send money using QR codes. But Bukele also emphasized that no one would be obliged to accept BTC. For example, if a user wants to pay for their groceries with Bitcoin but the merchant wants to receive dollars instead, Chivo allows both to use their preferred currency. The user can send BTC and the wallet will convert and deliver the appropriate USD amount to the trader based on the Bitcoin spot market price.
Make a payment in the Chivo wallet. Source: Twitter
The Chivo Wallet announcement follows the recent approval of Bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador. The bill, which was passed by the country’s Congress earlier this month, regulates Bitcoin as “unrestricted legal tender with liberating power, unlimited in every transaction and for every title that public or private natural or legal persons must perform”. The law comes into force in September.
The technical implementation behind El Salvador’s new official Bitcoin wallet is still unclear. But it could be a product of the partnership the country has formed with the Strike Lightning payments platform. The startup, which originally went to the Central American country to bolster the Bitcoin Beach community, quickly began meeting with Bukele and later helped the president announce the upcoming law at the Bitcoin 2021 event.
Chivo is also a response to the World Bank, which recently refused to help El Salvador achieve its Bitcoin goals. In addition, other countries could follow suit, as El Salvador shows the world that it is possible to implement a Bitcoin standard.
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