Protesters in El Salvador march against adoption of bitcoin as legal tender
CA, 09 Sep 2021
More than 1,000 people marched in El Salvador's capital on Tuesday to protest the adoption of bitcoin as legal tender, amid a bumpy initial rollout of systems to support the digital currency.
The protesters burned a tire and set off fireworks in front of the Supreme Court building around noon local time, as the government deployed heavily militarized police to the site of the protest.
The protest came as El Salvador's government was rushing to iron out technological snags in bitcoin's first-day rollout.
Earlier on Tuesday, Salvadorans trying to download the Chivo digital wallet found it was unavailable on popular app stores. President Nayib Bukele tweeted that the government had temporarily unplugged it, in order to connect more servers to deal with demand.
Polls indicate many Salvadorans are wary of the volatility of the cryptocurrency, which can shed hundreds of dollars in value in a day. That view is shared by many economists worried at how it will affect economic stability.
However, others have embraced it as a way ordinary people in a poor country can invest in financial markets.
Ahead of the launch, El Salvador bought 400 bitcoins worth around $20 million, Bukele said, helping drive the price of the currency above $52,000 for the first time since May. Hours later, however, bitcoin had weakened and last traded down 8.84% at $47,327.32.
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