Things have not started will for the Central American country, who today introduced the cryptocurrency Bitcoin as legal tender. The completely digital currency crashed on the morning it was brought in to El Salvador, and was accompanied by numerous technical glitches. The value of Bitcoin dropped 17% on the morning it became legal tender, the lowest it’s been in a month.
El Salvador is launching a world first experiment with the crypto currency, which aims to save money for the country on a whole. The government says accepting Bitcoin as legal tender will save the country $US400 on remittances. As a country El Salvador spends 23% of it’s GDP on remittances, one of the highest ratios in the world.
In the lead up to the currencies launch, special ATMs have been set up that allow people to exchange Bitcoin for dollars and withdrawn with no commission. The Cryptocurrency is historically volatile, earlier this year it was valued at $US60’000 in April, then dropped to $US30’000 in May.
Polls are showing that El Salvadorians are skeptical of the volatile cryptocurrency, and protests were launched today outside the Supreme Court building. Protestors burned a tire and set off fireworks before the government deployed heavily militarised police to the site of the protest.