- An El Salvador-based Redditor has criticized the country’s Bitcoin rollout
- The user claimed that adoption is going “pretty bad” with low usage in the country and identity theft rife
- President Nayib Bukele also comes in for criticism
A Reddit user from El Salvador has slated the country’s adoption of Bitcoin, saying that hardly anyone is using it and that identity theft is rife on the back of it. The user, who has posted negatively about the Bitcoin/El Salvador deal in the past, claimed that the vast majority of smaller shops in the country have reported no Bitcoin sales, that the Bitcoin welcome bonus was immediately converted to the dollar or spent on groceries, and even that the country is burning more coal to power the region where the new geothermal Bitcoin mining operation is situated.
Identity Theft Being Carried Out on Chivo Machines
The Reddit user, Sam-Sung, begins by saying that “adoption is going pretty bad”, primarily because of identity theft. The problem, he says, is down to “people using the Chivo Wallet to steal money” which he says they are doing by stealing identity at the terminals. This is apparently possible because of the facial recognition software implemented at the Chivo machines which have “no validation whatsoever” and are just “storing a picture, any picture.”
Things don’t seem to be much better with the real world use of Bitcoin:
Businesses are reporting low adoption. 93.1% of small/medium business[es] are reporting ZERO Cryptocurrency transactions. The free bitcoin bonus was either converted to FIAT or spent in groceries, after that usage crashed.
President Nayib Bukele also comes in for criticism, with Sam-Sung saying that he “cares more about profits, and spends his days tweeting about bitcoin prices”. Even the geothermal Bitcoin mining farm isn’t spared, with Sam-Sung saying that its use means that more coal is being burnt to power the buildings in the region that were previously getting the electricity.
El Salvador Criticism Out of Proportion?
While the report is damning, Sam-Sung is not without his critics:
How accurate this view on El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption is remains to be seen, but it is clear that, even if it is not 100% true, there are most certainly some teething problems.