Students and political organizations participated in the protests against the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender. Demonstrators argued that the authorities did not consult the people or follow due process before passing the law.
Many Salvadoran citizens protested against the entry into force of the Bitcoin Law in that Central American country. More than 1,000 people approached the Legislative Palace of San Salvador to reject the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender.
The demonstrators burned tires, blocked the public highway, and attempted to overturn a police barricade in front of that public body. After episodes that did not escalate in magnitude, they sang the National Anthem.
Those people claimed that the Nayib Bukele government did not consult the population before passing the Bitcoin Law and other measures. They added that the authorities did not follow due process of law, which would delegitimize them.
They also stated they were concerned about the volatility of Bitcoin, which they consider risky to the economic and financial integrity of the country. Before the approval of the Bitcoin Law, the cryptocurrency traded at USD 52,000, a price not seen since May. After dropping to USD 45,000, it has recovered slightly to around USD 47,000.
The Budget for Bitcoin Exceeds that for the University of El Salvador
Citizens criticized the government for neglecting employment rates, education, health, and the general situation, among other areas. They said that the authorities of El Salvador were taking care of other matters that were not relevant.
A student protesting against the Bitcoin Law stated that it does not benefit the working class and the oppressed of the country. He believes that the volatility of the cryptocurrency does not guarantee economic stability. In addition, he noted that the initial budget to finance Bitcoin is almost double that allocated to the University of El Salvador annually.
Public employees of the judicial branch also opposed the recently approved reform of the Law of the Legal Profession. It would force judges over 60 with 30 years of service to retire from the career. In addition, it could suppress the role of those officials regarding criminal investigations, allowing only public prosecutors to conduct them.
Deputy Claudia Ortiz of the VAMOS party led the protests against Bitcoin. The official highlighted the rejection that some surveys reflect and said that Bitcoin would not alleviate the cost of food and energy.
Ortiz proposed to the Legislative Assembly to discuss and vote for the repeal of the Bitcoin Law, but her proposal did not receive enough votes. Although the deputies retracted and agreed to discuss and vote on the law, the majority rejected the repeal.
El Zonte Citizens Want to Learn About Bitcoin
Inhabitants of El Zonte, where the Bitcoin movement emerged in El Salvador, want to learn about the cryptocurrency to start using it. Many of them make lines waiting to receive USD 30 exchangeable to Bitcoin that the government is distributing with the Chivo wallet.
More retailers in El Salvador are accepting payments in Bitcoin, as is the case with the Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, and Starbucks franchises, besides the Claro and Movistar telephone operators.
The pioneering cryptocurrency became legal tender while the Chivo wallet of the Salvadoran government started stumbling. However, the government has announced an educational campaign to teach citizens at home to use this wallet.
By Alexander Salazar