Thousands of citizens of El Salvador took to the streets on Wednesday to protest the government’s decision. The decision to make bitcoin legal money in the poor country.
El Salvador became the first country to accept bitcoin as legal money alongside the US dollar last week. President Nayib Bukele’s action was received with a combination of interest and worry.
El Salvador Explodes
Protesters set fire to a bitcoin ATM in San Salvador, the capital. Moreover, this is on the anniversary of the Central American country’s independence from Spanish control. There are roughly 200 ATMs across El Salvador as part of the reform and this ATM was one of them.
Protesters hoisted posters decrying a “dictatorship” and signs saying “Respect the Constitution” and “No to Bitcoin” aloft in the capital’s major square.
However, in a tweet on Wednesday, Bukele criticised the protestors, accusing them of destroying property.
“They say ‘infiltrators’ did the ‘vandalism,’ yet there is vandalism at ALL their protests,” he wrote, adding a video of a masked woman kicking through a glass security wall.
Later, at a televised event commemorating the bicentennial of El Salvador, the president alleged that the “international community” was funding certain protestors.
Republic in jeopardy
Protesters included peasants, labourers, and union organisers.
“We march because we don’t want that bitcoin law since it doesn’t advantage us,” Natalia Belloso, 41, said, wearing a white T-shirt with the “No to Bitcoin” symbol.
“It’s an extremely volatile currency.”
Experts and policymakers expressed their concerns regarding the cryptocurrency’s infamous volatility. Moreover, on its possible influence on price inflation in a country like El Salvador with significant poverty and unemployment. Additionally, also the absence of user security.