By now, most people are aware that El Salvador is making Bitcoin legal tender, but what does a country adopting Bitcoin actually look like? According to the president, Nayib Bukele, the El Salvadoran government will be building 50 locations to swap fiat and Bitcoin, as well as installing 200 Bitcoin ATMs. The country plans to continue building infrastructure to make using Bitcoin as convenient as using fiat currency. Part of the transition to a digital economy is rolling out a state-issued Bitcoin wallet, Chivo.
When asked what would happen if someone didn’t want to use Bitcoin, President Bukele responded “Don’t download the app and continue living your normal life. Nobody is going to take your dollars [...] Someone can always queue up at Western Union and pay a commission.”
Earlier this year, the President discussed exploring mining Bitcoin in El Salvador using volcanic-derived electricity as a sustainable, clean energy source. This is an important move because one of the biggest concerns with Bitcoin has been the electricity required by the ‘Proof of Work’ system Bitcoin utilizes, which has ballooned as the value of mining has increased.
El Salvador will officially begin adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender on September 7, 2021.