“Bitcoin Day”, headline, victorious, the daily El Salvador, close to power, this Tuesday, September 7. “Bitcoin is launched, between doubts and rejection”, nuanced the newspaper El Diario de Hoy, in opposition. In El Salvador, the first day of official circulation of the cryptocurrency began with computer bugs, the Chivo Wallet application, a wallet necessary to operate, having had to be deactivated for several hours to fix technical problems and increase server capacity.
All day, President Nayib Bukele himself acted as a technician on Twitter, his favorite social network, advising users in turn to wait or to relaunch the application before being able to use the 30 dollars (25 euros) in bitcoins offered by the government for any download of Chivo Wallet.
“It’s a simple problem but one that cannot be solved with the connected system”, he explained, before announcing that the government had acquired 550 bitcoins, or $ 22.4 million (about 18.9 million euros) on Tuesday evening, while the cryptocurrency had lost almost 10% of its value since morning. “How come I only have $ 26 left in my wallet when I haven’t bought anything yet?” “, some Internet users were already surprised, ignoring the extreme volatility of cryptocurrency.
Mistrust and rejection
Meanwhile, several protests converged in the streets of San Salvador, for the second time in a week, against the introduction of bitcoin, far from unanimous. This is the first time that a measure by the still very popular President Bukele has raised so much mistrust and rejection: 70% of Salvadorans, according to a poll by the Central American University José-Simeon-Canas, disagree with a decision that , warn economists unanimously, risks converting the country into a tax haven for money laundering.
Other demonstrators were protesting in parallel against the new authoritarian measures taken in recent days. Some people fear that the historical news on bitcoin and the headlines of the mainstream media will obscure the attacks on the rule of law reported by many observers.
On August 31, the Legislative Assembly, dominated since 1er May to more than two-thirds by the president’s party, Nuevas Ideas, approved a law ex officio retirement of all judges and prosecutors over the age of 60 or with thirty years of service, or about a third of ‘between them. “Gone are the corrupt judges”, welcomed the president, without specifying how such a measure would fight against corruption. Exactly like the Bitcoin law in June, the text was approved without going through any committee and after only an hour of parliamentary debate.
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