As El Salvador became the first country to accept bitcoin as a legal currency, many merchants in the country of 6.5 million began accepting bitcoin. From McDonald’s to Pizza Hut, Salvadorans can now make their purchases with bitcoin.
Since September 7th, dubbed “Bitcoin Day” by El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele, locals and visitors in the Central American nation have been sharing their new purchase experiences at merchants across the country. While some chains, including the likes of Starbucks, were ready on day one, others such as Walmart reportedly hadn’t set up Bitcoin payment gateways just yet.
Amid the celebrations, the El Salvadoran government bought 400 bitcoin — then added another 150 as Bukele announced he was “buying the dip.”
As with the adoption of any new technology, there were glitches in El Salvador’s rollout of Bitcoin as a parallel legal tender. Critics noted that El Salvador’s new digital wallet, Chivo, was temporarily unavailable as the government attempted to meet demand. While some exchanges noted they were experiencing problems, others, such as Cash App, reported no issues.
President Bukele seemed responsive to these issues, taking to Twitter to communicate with users and asking for feedback as the government worked to get the wallet back online.
While some used the technical difficulties and Bitcoin’s price drop as arguments speaking against the “Ley Bitcoin” (Bitcoin Law), support for El Salvador’s move reached far beyond the borders of the country as some bitcoiners purchased $30 in bitcoin to celebrate Bitcoin’s history-making status as legal tender — in unison with El Salvador’s move to give $30 worth of bitcoin to any citizen who downloads Chivo.