RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The adoption of bitcoin as a legal tender in El Salvador is seen as a poor or unwise decision by 77.5% of the population, according to a university survey released this Thursday.
The Centro de Estudios Ciudadanos (CEC) survey of the Universidad Francisco Gavidia (UFG) shows that 24 % consider the decision as not correct and 53.5 % as not correct at all. In comparison, 12.9 % say it is correct and 6.5 % very correct.
Last June 9, the Legislative Assembly approved the Bitcoin Law, which gives legal tender to this crypto-asset, together with the US dollar.
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The initiative, which does not include other cryptocurrencies or the underlying projects, was approved with the votes of 62 of the 84 deputies in the Parliament, with a large majority of the ruling party, without further debate or parliamentary discussion.
The measure, which generated doubts among local banks and the population due to the limited information disclosed by the Government, will come into force on September 9.
The government of president Nayib Bukele has promoted the initiative to eliminate the payment of commissions for sending remittances from the United States, which sustain the Salvadoran economy and which in 2020 totaled more than US$5.9 billion, according to data from the Central Bank.
Given the risks due to bitcoin volatility, 95% of Salvadorans value the US dollar “as financial stability for their family economy,” and only 1% mentioned the cryptocurrency.
THE FIRST QUESTIONED DECISION
According to the survey, President Nayib Bukele’s gamble on bitcoin is the first decision questioned by a large part of the population, among whom the president is very popular.
The study indicates that 40.6% say that Bukele “is acting just the same as always”, as the president calls his opponents, while 41.8% say that “he knows what he is doing”.
On the other hand, 52.1% said that “I trust him (Bukele), but I do not agree with the bitcoin,” and 30% said that “I do not trust the president, nor the bitcoin”.
The UFG poll was conducted between July 1 and 4, with a national sample of 1,233 adult interviews and a sampling error of plus or minus 2.8 % and 95 % confidence.