On 7 September the Bitcoin it will become legal tender in El Salvador. The decision taken on input from the President of the small country of the Center America, Nayib Bukele, however, is arousing increasingly vehement protests within it. Right now, in fact, demonstrations against the provision are underway, during which it is possible to read signs of open refusal to digital money, indicated as an instrument of the criminal economy. Protests led by the opposition, but which are based on some very specific fears of the population.
Why the protests against the legal tender of Bitcoin
Il Bitcoin Law, this is the name of the disputed provision, allows Bitcoin to be legal tender within the country and requires its acceptance in payments, with limited exceptions.
According to activist Idalia Zuñiga, however, it is a law capable of generating legal insecurity and which could be used to defraud users and to facilitate the laundering of money and assets of dubious origin. An opinion which, however, seems far from isolated in a population which strongly fears the possible negative effects of the law. These have, moreover, been highlighted by several parties.
77% of the population of El Salvador would be against it
The fears in question have, however, pushed Jamie Guevara, number two of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, the country's main opposition party, to bring lawsuit against the law. An appeal which accuses the provision of openly violating the Constitution. And that seems to best interpret the sentiment of the population, considered as a recent survey commissioned by the Center for Citizen Studies (CEC) of the Francisco Gavidia University has even seen the 77% of respondents contesting the controversial Bitcoin Law.
Faced with the disputes, Nayib Bukele said that the acceptance of Bitcoin payments it would not be mandatory. A an assertion which, however, openly contradicts article 7 of the law, which states that "every economic operator must accept Bitcoin as payment when it is offered to him by anyone who acquires a good or a service". An extremely clear text, therefore, that the President himself proves he does not understand or pretends not to understand.
While traders seem to have done so. In fact, 61% of them said they were unwilling to accept Bitcoin payments. Also because it should equip itself with the tools to do so, with all the associated dangers.
Moreover, also pointed out by the International Monetary Fund, who in the past few hours posted a tweet stating that "... private cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, involve substantial risks. Making them equivalent to a national currency is an inadvisable shortcut ”.
The dispute is against the obligation, not against the Bitcoin
What seems increasingly clear in the Salvadoran controversy is that the dispute is not against Bitcoin, but the obligation to accept it introduced by law. In fact, one thing is to allow and facilitate the circulation of digital assets, it is quite another to oblige even if it does not intend to adopt them for their use.
It is no coincidence that in countries where there is no such obligation, but there are problems related to sovereign currencies, such as Argentina, Colombia, Brazil and Venezuela, Bitcoin and Altcoin are having great success. By allowing workers and retirees to convert their wages into cryptocurrency, thereby avoiding hyperinflation resulting in a deadweight loss of purchasing power. However, everything takes place on a voluntary basis, unlike what the Bitcoin Law states.