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Salvadorans Protest President Bukele’s BTC Project

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Salvadorans Protest President Bukele’s BTC Project

Salvadorans have taken to the streets in protest against the country’s acceptance of BTC as legal tender, which will take place on September 7, 2021. 

“No al lavado de dinero corrupto,” signs read during a protest in San Salvador last Friday—which means “no to laundering corrupt money.” 

The protests are the latest in a long line of attempts by the Salvadoran public to sidetrack President Bukele’s BTC Law, which will see the flagship cryptocurrency become legal tender next week. 

“What El Salvador is trying to do is unprecedented and the country has the eyes of the world on it,” Jason Deane, BTC analyst at Quantum Economics told Decrypt

Deane added that these protests are an “inevitable part of the process,” and “it will still be many months before this normalizes and the true benefits are realized.”

But not everybody in El Salvador is quite as optimistic.

El Salvador’s BTC opposition

This is not the first time Salvadorans have opposed the country’s embrace of BTC. 

In June, Jamie Guevara—the deputy leader of El Salvador’s opposition party the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front—filed a lawsuit in opposition to President Bukele’s BTC Law. 

Guevara partnered with a group of Salvadorans that argued the legislation itself was unconstitutional. 

“I bring a lawsuit of unconstitutionality against the decree issued by the BTC Law for being a decree lacking legality, lacking foundation, without considering the significance and harmful effects that such a law will cause to this country,” said one citizen named Oscar Artero at the time. 

He added that the legislation was designed to “loot people’s pockets” and to “force us to trade.” 

A month later, a survey showed that over three-quarters of Salvadorans did not support President Bukele’s BTC project

Commissioned by the Center for Citizen Studies (CEC) at Francisco Gavidia University in San Salvador, the survey found that 77% of Salvadorans polled believed adopting BTC as legal tender is “not very wise.” 

Forcing financial freedom

Another source of controversy for President Bukele has centered on the concern that BTC will be forced on unwilling participants. 

Recently, President Bukele insisted that BTC acceptance won’t be compulsory. “If someone wants to continue loading cash, not receive entry bonus, not win over customers who have BTC, not grow your business and pay commission on remittances, you can keep doing it,” the president said. 

This contradicts the legislation, however. 

El Salvador’s President Insists BTC Use Will Not Be Mandatory

Article 7 of President Bukele’s BTC Law says “every economic agent must accept BTC as payment when offered to him by whoever acquires a good or service.” 

The same CEC study also found that 61% of merchants—almost two-thirds—said they would not be willing to accept payments in BTC. 

Based on that data, it comes as no surprise that Salvadorans are protesting this week.


All content in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way serves as investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks is very risky and can lead to capital losses.

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