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El Salvador Prepares Infrastructure for Bitcoin Adoption

There will be 200 ATMs and 50 branches throughout El Salvador for converting Bitcoin into U.S. Dollars starting on September 7. However, accepting bitcoins is optional.

From September 7, El Salvador will accept Bitcoin as a legal tender.

The country is undergoing considerable changes for the rollout as it gears up for the D-Day.

President Bukele is trying to prepare his country for one of the most pivotal moments in its ‘monetary history’.

Consequently, on August 23, he clarified many doubts regarding the policy in a long Twitter thread.

Bitcoin payments are Optional

Through his tweets, he explained that the residents will have the option of receiving payments in both Bitcoin and fiat currency USD. Accepting bitcoin is not mandatory.

He announced that residents can convert crypto to fiat immediately after Bitcoin circulation as legal tender begins.

His statement clarified a contentious argument that was running since the day of the legislation.

Upgrading the Bitcoin infrastructure

In the thread, President Bukele also mentioned that people will have the option of converting bitcoins to USD through 200 ATMs. There will also be 50 branches to withdraw or deposit money.

Anyone can download the Chivo app, a digital wallet, and will get $30 worth of bitcoin credited to the account.

Commission-free remittances to El Salvador

He also highlighted how remittances would become seamless and cheap through the adoption.

In his words, “if one does not want to, one can queue up outside Western Union any day and can also pay commissions on the transfer”. 

It is up to one’s discretion. 

Salvadorans pay around $400 million a year in commissions, which can be saved through Bitcoin transfers.

Making the transition to bitcoin smooth

Help desks are being built to help people make a smooth transition to digital assets. They are called Chivo Points. 

“There they (people) will be able to receive help on how to use the application, how bitcoin works, how to withdraw or deposit money, how to use ATMs, and how to receive money from anywhere in the world.”

He also mentioned that the adoption will make it easier for residents to get low-interest loans as they will have proof of income. They will be able to receive payments from tourists and international investors seamlessly.

Earlier, Bank of America too had pointed out similar benefits like fast and cheap remittances, FDI etc.

Throughout history, the currency system has changed several times. It began with the barter system. Today we are moving towards a digital currency. For the first time in history, currency can be minted and exchanged in an intangible form. This will open numerous opportunities for innovation.

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