Under president Nayib Bukele, El Salvador became the first country to legalize Bitcoin as a legal tender in June this year. The bill was passed on 9th June, however, the decree will come into effect in 90 days since its publication in the Official Gazette and the time it will take for the infrastructure to be put into place. El Salvador is now rolling out needed infrastructure in form of ATMs, digital wallets, and branches to make this happen before September 7th when the bill will come into effect.
On Sunday, Nayib Bukele announced on Twitter that 4.5 million adults in El Salvador would have the option of HODLing their Bitcoin once the country officially accepted the cryptocurrency as legal tender or “withdraw[ing] it in cash at any of the 200 ATMs.” He also mentioned that there will also be 50 branches capable of withdrawing or depositing fiat for residents to hold crypto or immediately liquidate their salaries.
For El Salvador citizens to use Bitcoin as a payment method on a regular basis, there will also be a state-issued Bitcoin wallet, called Chivo. “Chivo ATMs will eventually be “everywhere” and allow El Salvadorans to withdraw cash 24 hours a day without paying commissions on their holdings, but no one will be forced to use them so if someone doesn’t willing to use Bitcoin, can live life normally and queue up at Western Union and pay a commission”, said Bukele.
After the bold move by El Salvador, other central American countries are considering legalizing cryptocurrency. Paraguay’s Deputy of the Nation Carlos Antonio Rejala Helman has seen tweeting crypto pro tweets and putting laser eyes. Panama, Brazil are also following the likes of El Salvador and soon announce their plan for crypto.