Bitcoin Starts Legal Tender Test on Sept 7, Bukele Sees 'Dirty Campaign'
The most popular cryptocurrency, bitcoin (BTC), will become legal tender on September 7 and will be optional for those who don’t want to receive it, El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele said in a national address yesterday.
He stressed that BTC will help to create new jobs, bring investments, and accused opponents of a “dirty campaign” against BTC and him, who are trying to “confuse” Salvadorans by “lying” and “create fear where there is no problem.”
Bukele reiterated that if someone receives payment in BTC after it becomes legal tender they can automatically convert it into dollars, if they want to, while pensions and salaries will continue to be paid in USD.
The President also tried to calm down worried citizens by saying that USD will remain legal tender too and explaining that BTC is a different currency – it has no bills, no metal coins, and it works in a digital world.
El Presidente @nayibbukele desmiente los argumentos de los opositores sobre el uso del #Bitcoin en el país. Nosotro… https://t.co/IeqP3QSOFK— Casa Presidencial (@PresidenciaSV)
Meanwhile, Athena Bitcoin plans to invest over USD 1m to install some 1,500 BTC ATMs in El Salvador, Reuters reported, citing a company representative.
“Initially we are going to bring dozens of machines, (we’ll) test what the business model is like in El Salvador, which will probably be different than in the United States,” the firm’s director for Latin America Matias Goldenhörn was quoted as saying. The company installed its first crypto ATM in El Salvador’s El Zonte beach, also known as the Bitcoin Beach, a year ago.