Not your average B-Day [MEDITERRANEAN/E+ via GettyImages]
"Happy B-Day"... Just got a whole new meaning. Yesterday, El Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as a national currency. Crypto enthusiasts call it "B-Day." Bitcoin is now legal tender alongside the US dollar, which has been El Salvador's official currency since 2001. The Salvadoran government is rolling out Bitcoin ATMs and snazzy kiosks — and offering a $30 BTC credit to those who download its govt-run Bitcoin wallet, Chivo.
Crypto instead of cake... Not everyone's into it. El Salvador plans to spend $225M+ in the rollout, but ~65% of Salvadorans don’t want the govt to spend tax money on Bitcoin adoption, and 80% lack confidence in BTC. Meanwhile, the IMF is worried BTC's volatility poses major risks to El Salvador's economy, which is already one of Central America's poorest. A Bitcoin price plunge could make its huge debt load even worse. Just yesterday, BTC dropped 10%. Some potential pros...
It's the first big coin experiment... and the stakes are high. El Salvador's BTC adoption could destabilize its fragile economy, boost corruption, and be a boon to the Salvadoran president’s authoritarian tactics — or it could be a social and economic success. It’s all TBD. But the experiment could be valuable for other governments considering using crypto as legal tender.