Bitcoin Launching in El Salvador Amid Intensifying Protests

Bitcoin Launching in El Salvador Amid Intensifying Protests

(ReliableNews.org) – El Salvador recently became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender. The news came after the country’s lawmakers passed a proposal championed by President Nayib Bukele. The cryptocurrency is set to launch in a few days, but citizens aren’t thrilled about it.

Protests are taking place in San Salvador, the nation’s capital, over the plan to introduce Bitcoin. Citizens say they don’t know much about volatile, expensive cryptocurrency or how it could benefit the country. Bukele claims it’ll boost jobs and make the country less reliant on American aid. The citizenry doesn’t seem to be buying the idea. According to a Central American University (UCA) poll, 67.9% of Salvadorans want the law repealed.

Another issue with Bitcoin, especially in a country like El Salvador, is mining. It takes massive amounts of energy to power computers to generate the currency. The tiny country already has issues with blackouts. In July, a power failure in Central America impacted multiple countries and cost more than $18 million.

Bukele claims the country will harness the energy in its five active volcanoes (the nation has 15 other dormant volcanoes). However, it’s unclear how far that project has progressed.

For now, the government remains unmoved by the protests. It’s moving full steam ahead with its September 7 launch.

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