- Bitcoin will become a legal currency in El Salvador in a week’s time
- The country voted to accept Bitcoin as legal tender three months ago
- Protests are still ongoing over the move
With the calendar having moved from August to September, thoughts in less equatorial countries are turning to changing seasons, but in El Salvador they’re turning to just one thing – Bitcoin. It is now just one week until Bitcoin is formally signed into law as a form of currency in an experiment that will have ramifications not just for the cryptocurrency world but for the entire financial system. Understandably the plan is still receiving a fair amount of skepticism, with voices on both sides becoming louder as September 7th draws nearer.
El Salvador’s Bitcoin Adoption Caught the World’s Attention
El Salvador made international headlines back in June when its parliament voted to accept Bitcoin as a second currency. The response from those on both sides of the Bitcoin fence was immediate – anti-Bitcoin mainstream media outlets, other governments, and financial regulators were shocked by the news, while anti-establishment figures and pro-Bitcoiners rejoiced. The vote was rubber stamped shortly afterwards and September 7 was set as the date that Bitcoin would enter big school.
Protests Still Ongoing
Three months later and the idea is still making many queasy. Protests are still ongoing in the streets as publicized by The Guardian, the outlet that loves to quote Nouriel Roubhini whenever it can. They state that the excitement has given way to pessimism amid suggestions that the infrastructure is not ready and that the potential upsides are “probably overstated”.
This is, to be sure, an experiment, but one that was almost inevitable given Bitcoin’s rise in recent years, and not just in price – adoption levels, too, are higher than ever. It will be an experiment not just for Bitcoin but for the Lightning Network too, for this Layer 2 technology will be the engine that allows the great El Salvador Bitcoin experiment to run.
With a week to go, the financial world is holding its breath. It will be interesting. It will be messy. It will be fun.