In early September, the government of El Salvador announced the legalization of Bitcoin as an alternative means of payment in the country. Several weeks later, disputes over the correctness of this decision still do not subside even among the local population.
President of El Salvador Nayyib Bukele
And this is only half the trouble: the adoption of Bitcoin was previously criticized even at the IMF. The Salvadorans themselves are not very advanced in their knowledge of cryptocurrencies – at least this conclusion can be drawn from a recent poll by Sherlock Communications agency in São Paulo. Let’s talk about what is happening in more detail.
Bitcoin was recognized as the legal tender in El Salvador on September 7th. Now you can pay with cryptocurrency in establishments, stores and other retail outlets, and for this, the second-level Lightning Network is used for this.
Alas, not everyone was happy with the president’s initiative. For example, the public organization Cristosal has already demanded an audit of the state purchase of bitcoins, which went to the country’s treasury.
What’s wrong with Bitcoin in El Salvador?
More than half of Salvadorans, 54 percent, did not choose a single coin from the top 5 most popular crypto projects when asked about knowledge of cryptocurrencies. That is, they do not have a clear idea even about Bitcoin, which was recently legalized and in fact equated in its capabilities to the US dollar.
In an interview with Cointelegraph , Sherlock Communications CEO Patrick O’Neill commented on the results of the poll. Here is a quote from an expert in which he shares his attitude to what is happening.
The data we collected in El Salvador showed us very clearly that there is a lot of confusion about cryptocurrency in the country, surprisingly given the circumstances.
That is, the analyst admits that the majority of local residents do not understand what is happening in the digital asset niche. And this is understandable, because the cryptocurrency industry is quite technical and requires a lot of knowledge. And since people simply did not have a reason and time to get to know the blockchain niche better, they cannot figure out the details of transactions. As well as appreciating the benefits of decentralization and Bitcoin’s limited supply of 21 million coins .
Most interestingly, the citizens of El Salvador do not see the crypt as a safe haven in case of a potential financial crisis. 35 and 28 percent of respondents, when asked about investing in cryptocurrencies during such an event, answered that they are “less” and “much less” likely, respectively, to be willing to invest in Bitcoin. Another 41 percent said the crisis would not change their attitude towards crypto.
And this clearly makes it clear that many residents are not familiar with the peculiarities of cryptocurrency exchanges. Recall that the latter allow you to set the so-called stop-loss – that is, orders to the exchange to sell an asset if its value falls to a certain level. Accordingly, in this way traders can not only earn on the growth of conditional Bitcoin, but also protect themselves in the event of a collapse in the rate of this cryptocurrency and the market as a whole.
Of the total number of respondents, 31 percent described the legalization of Bitcoin as a negative event, while 42 percent did not see anything useful or bad in BTC. Only 29 percent of Salvadorans expect positive changes in the economy after legalization.
Poor public awareness suggests that the adoption of crypto in the country is proceeding too quickly, and in the future this situation may become an anchor for the further growth of the popularity of Bitcoin in the country.
We believe that the local government needs to invest heavily in educational courses and programs related to the crypto market. Otherwise, digital assets will become the privilege of curious citizens who are not afraid to get involved with new things and experiment. However, in this case, everything should end with the massive use of BTC throughout the country.