On Monday (June 28), Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele addressed some of the confusion surrounding his country’s “Bitcoin Law” and the upcoming Chivo electronic wallet (which is designed to hold both BTC and USD).
As you may remember, the bill to make Bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador got passed by the Legislative Assembly on June 9.
On June 24, President Bukele announced during a national address that the Bitcoin Law will become effective on September 7.
Here are a few highlights from President Bukele’s speech (as reported by “La Prensa Gráfica”, one of the country’s most popular daily newspapers):
- The English translation of Article 7 of the Bitcoin Law states: “Every economic agent must accept bitcoin as payment when offered to him by whoever acquires a good or service.” However, the president said assured the people of El Salvador that “nobody has to receive bitcoins if they don’t want them”.
- Pensions and salaries will continue to be paid in U.S. dollars.
- Bank account balances will remain in U.S. dollars (i.e. not get converted to Bitcoin).
- The president pointed out that Article 7 of the Bitcoin law that those who do not have the technology to accept Bitcoin do not have to accept it. The English translation of Article 7 states: “Those who, by evident and notorious fact, do not have access to the technologies that allow them to carry out transactions in bitcoin are excluded from the obligation expressed in Art. 7 of this law. The State will promote the necessary training and mechanisms so that the population can access bitcoin transactions.”
- The government is building an electronic wallet called “Chivo” that will be able to hold both USD and BTC. This mobile app will be available for downloading from the iOS and Android app stores from September 7. Any El Salvador citizen who registers the wallet (which will require entering their Unique Identity Document number and cell phone number, as well as submitting to a face scan) can receive $30 worth of Bitcoin from the government (but it seems that they can choose to opt out and receive this amount in USD instead). The president said that “those 30 dollars are to promote the use of bitcoin and to encourage people to download the App”.
- The Chivo wallet will allow withdrawals at ATMs.
- The Development Bank of El Salvador (Bandesal) will guarantee automatic convertibility, which means that businesses that get paid in BTC can choose to receive USD.
Well, earlier today, President Bukele took to Twitter to clear up some of the FUD surrounding the Bitcoin Law and the Chivo wallet.
Here are the main highlights:
- The Chivo wallet is “only one of many wallets that can be used” and will be “fully compatible with other wallets.”
- “The personal data requested by the wallet is already held by the Government.”
- “The use of the Chivo wallet will have no cost, there will be no commissions to send or receive remittances, or to make or receive payments, or to convert bitcoin to dollars or vice versa. No commission will be charged to merchants, as credit cards do. No commission will be charged to merchants…”
- “The money that is held or received (in dollars or bitcoin) in the Chivo wallet… can be withdrawn in cash (in dollars) at any time you want. It can be done at the physical branches … and at Chivo ATMs. This will have NO commission.”
- “There will be more than 200 Chivo points (between ATMs and branches) in historic centers and shopping centers… You can also make deposits, purchase of bitcoin and other services…”
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