The political situation in El Salvador is only getting worse as the day approaches when the country will start adopting Bitcoin as legal tender.
On September 7 of this year, the waiting period for the Bitcoin Law to become mandatory is over. According to the text of this Law, all economic agents must accept Bitcoin along with the dollar as a means of payment.
Bukele promises that the measure seeks to benefit the people and save the country close to $400 million in remittance commissions, guaranteeing instant and more secure financial transactions.
But Salvadorans do not seem to agree.
The People of El Salvador Protest Against Bitcoin
In the last few days, annoyance and fear of the imminent application of the Law have exacerbated the mood of Salvadorans, and demonstrations have already begun to take place in the streets against Bitcoin.
As reported by Euronews and Reuters, hundreds of protesters took to the streets to raise their voices against the Law. Among the organizing groups were workers, veterans, and pensioners.
Volatility and instability is the crucial point of concern. Stanley Quinteros, a member of the Supreme Court of Justice’s workers’ union, told Reuters that the mandatory adoption of bitcoin could damage Salvadoran finances as there is no way to control or stabilize prices.
“We know this coin fluctuates drastically. Its value changes from one second to another and we will have no control over it,”
Protestors explained that almost nobody wants Bitcoin, and they are against the fact that its use could facilitate corruption in a country known for its authoritarian and non-transparent policies.
Other Efforts Against Bitcoin
Just this week, the Salvadoran Association of International Cargo Carriers (ASTIC) also organized massive protests, demanding the modification of Article 7 of the Bitcoin Law that stipulates the mandatory acceptance of Bitcoin.
In an official statement shared by Telesur, the Association argued:
“No Central American carrier contracted by an economic entity in El Salvador will accept bitcoin as a form of payment, creating divisionism in the sector for paying the foreigner in dollars and the national for being obliged with the cryptocurrency.”
They assured that if they do not receive a response to their requests, they will begin to charge an additional 20% fee to those who pay freight with Bitcoin to protect themselves from the volatility of the cryptocurrency.
Similarly, last month, a group of activists, students, and unions gathered in front of Congress, asking for the derogation of the Bitcoin Law. They argued that the law was introduced and approved without any consultation and could potentially harm the interest of the people.
The group introduced a written statement arguing that Bitcoin’s decentralization could do more harm than good.
In conclusion, bitcoin would facilitate public corruption and the operations of drug, arms and human traffickers, extortionists and tax evaders. It would also cause monetary chaos, hit people’s salaries, pensions and savings, ruin many MSMEs, affect peasant families and hit the middle strata.
But it doesn’t seem to be enough for Nayib Bukele, who seems absolutely certain that his decision is the best for his people and believes that his adversaries will suffer a double loss once Bitcoin starts to be used as legal tender.