On September 7 of this year, the waiting period for the Bitcoin law to become mandatory is over. According to the text of this law, all economic agents must accept Bitcoin as well as the dollar as a means of payment.
Bukele promises the measure aims to benefit the population and save the country nearly $ 400 million in transfer fees, ensuring instant and more secure financial transactions.
But Salvadorans do not seem to agree.
Salvadoran people protest Bitcoin
In recent days, annoyance and fear of impending law enforcement has heightened the mood of Salvadorans, and protests have already started to take place in the streets against Bitcoin.
As Euronews and Reuters report, hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets to speak out against the law. Among the organizing groups were workers, veterans and retirees.
Volatility and instability are at the heart of the concerns. Stanley Quinteros, a member of the Supreme Court of Justice workers union, told Reuters that the mandatory adoption of bitcoin could hurt Salvadoran finances because there is no way to control or stabilize prices.
“We know this coin fluctuates considerably. Its value changes from one second to the next and we will have no control over it ”,
Protesters explained that hardly anyone wants Bitcoin, and they are against the fact that its use could facilitate corruption in a country known for its authoritarian and non-transparent policies.
Other efforts against Bitcoin
Just this week, the Salvadoran Association of International Cargo Carriers (ASTIC) also staged massive protests, demanding the amendment of Article 7 of the Bitcoin Law which stipulates the mandatory acceptance of Bitcoin.
In an official statement shared by Telesur, the Association argued:
“No Central American carrier contracted by an economic entity in El Salvador will accept bitcoin as a means of payment, creating divisionism in the sector to pay the foreigner in dollars and the national to be obligated with the cryptocurrency. “
They assured that if they do not receive a response to their inquiries, they will start charging an additional 20% fee to those who pay freight with Bitcoin to protect themselves from the volatility of the cryptocurrency.
Likewise, last month a group of activists, students and unions gathered outside Congress, calling for the Bitcoin law waiver. They argued that the law was introduced and approved without any consultation and could potentially harm the interests of the people.
The group presented a written statement claiming that decentralizing Bitcoin could do more harm than good.
In conclusion, bitcoin would facilitate public corruption and the operations of drug, arms and human traffickers, extortionists and tax evaders. It would also cause monetary chaos, affect people’s wages, pensions and savings, ruin many MSMEs, affect peasant families and hit the middle strata.
But that doesn’t seem enough for Nayib Bukele, who seems absolutely certain his decision is the best for his people, and believes his opponents will suffer a double loss once Bitcoin begins to be used as legal tender.
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