Thousands of people took to the streets in El Salvador on Sunday to protest President Najib Bukele’s policies, in particular his decision to make bitcoin the country’s second official currency.
“Bitcoin, scam”, “No to dictatorship”, “I’m done with tyranny”, … These are some of the slogans that can be read on protester banners. The protest follows calls from various left and right parties and all kinds of associations.
Said Ricardo Navarro, president of the environmental movement Cesta, which joined the march is organizing.
On September 7, El Salvador became the first country to introduce Bitcoin as legal tender. Thus, the cryptocurrency will be at the same level as the US dollar, which became the official currency of the country twenty years ago.
Savings on bank fees
According to the government, bitcoin will allow Salvadorans to save $400 million in bank fees when sending money through the diaspora. In El Salvador’s economy, remittances from Salvadorans from abroad are a major support, accounting for 22 percent of GDP.
However, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank are concerned about El Salvador’s decision, especially due to the large scale of the cryptocurrency. Bukele has been in power since 2019 and is very popular after he ousted the traditional parties that had been in power in El Salvador for 30 years. However, his opponents and the international community blame him for authoritarianism.
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