Despite a three-month ban on protests to allegedly prevent the spread of COVID, a group of Salvadorans consisting of left-wing unions, student associations and others gathered in the Legislative Assembly yesterday to protest the country’s adoption of Bitcoin as its national currency.
Protests in El Salvador
The group, organized by the Block of Resistance and the People’s Revolt, used banners and slogans to demand the revocation of the bill that makes BTC legal tender and obliges companies to approve it. Protesters, like an estimated 77% of Salvadorans, believe this is a bad idea.
It is a law that generates legal uncertainty and can be used to extort money from users as well as facilitate money and asset laundering
– she said activist Idalia Zuñiga.
Another participant in the protest expressed her concerns about the instability of Bitcoin prices.
For those earning the minimum wage, you can have $ 300 in Bitcoin in an instant, and that $ 300 can turn into $ 50 the next day.
She said, pointing to a drop in BTC prices from $ 63,595 in April to half that amount today.
The concerns of the protesters are not new. Regulators have previously highlighted Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency scams and money laundering schemes as preventing global acceptance of digital assets.
Act approved in 6 hours
Protesters can also rightly complain about the way the law was created. It is a reminder of President Nayib Bukele’s control over all branches of the Salvadoran government. Despite the fact that the bill must normally go through an arduous process of research, consultation and adaptation, the BTC bill was approved in less than six hours from the time Bukele officially presented it to Congress.
Although the law has already been approved, it will not enter into force until 90 days. This means that Salvadorans will not be obliged to accept Bitcoin until September.
Most, however, are not ready. A recent poll revealed that around 77% of the country’s population opposes the new Bukele Act. Most domestic remittance recipients and sellers would prefer to use dollars rather than digital currencies.