El Salvador's president provided technical support from his official Twitter account hours after Bitcoin was adopted as legal tender.
This is because the digital wallet that was supposed to be used for transactions was deactivated.
El Salvador's President Provides Technical Support
El Salvador's Chivo wallet, which offers the public $30 worth of free bitcoin for those who sign up for the service, was launched on Sept. 7. El Salvador is the first country to have bitcoin as a legal tender.
However, only five hours later, the service was disconnected because of the lack of server capacity, according to The Wall Street Journal.
President Nayib Bukele, the president of El Salvador, was unfazed over what happened and asked for the public's patience.
The president announced that El Salvador's government had bought 150 bitcoins worth $21 million to add its current numbers. There are now 550 bitcoins available, which costs $26 million.
President Bukele then retweeted a journalist who claimed he had successfully paid for his meal at McDonald's by using bitcoin.
The president posted on his Twitter account that for those who have downloaded the chivo wallet and are still not registered, they can try to register now and notify them if there is an error or if the process works.
Protestors in San Salvador
On Sept. 7, more than 1,000 people protested in San Salvador. They burned tires and set off fireworks outside the Supreme Court.
According to Reuters, the protestors believe that the currency is the only ideal for big investors who wish to speculate with their economic resources.
Meanwhile, the value of bitcoin decreased on the same day that it was launched in the country. It went from $52,000 per coin to $42,000. It now recovered half of the loss.
Backlash on President Bukele
The president's critics warned that the media noise created by the adoption of bitcoin is just a distraction from the president's consolidation of political power, according to CNBC.
Ricardo Castaneda, a local economist, said that there had been a high degree of improvisation in the rollout of Chivo. The app asks for access to the user's microphone and contacts, which are not needed for the digital wallet.
Bitcoin may be a distraction, but given the government's decision to push through with the plan despite the opposition and the advice of financial experts, it could be an important part of President Bukele's project.
Recent polls showed that two-thirds of the citizens opposed the move to adopt cryptocurrency.
On Sept. 3, El Salvador's top court ruled that the 40-year-old president can run for a second term come 2024, overturning a ruling that prevented the re-election of presidents for a decade.
President Bukele has made several changes to the country's constitution. He now controls all three branches of the government.
Carlos Lopez Bernal, a professor at the University of El Salvador, said that President Bukele's moves are very predictable, and everything that he's done is just gearing towards his re-election campaign.
Last year, the president ordered troops into parliament as he laid out his military spending plan. As part of the anti-corruption campaign that he created, he removed five judges and the attorney general.
Last week, Congress approved a reform to fire all of the judges over 60 years old. The government has held secret negotiations with the country's powerful gangs, with the minutes of the meetings undisclosed.
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Written by Sophie Webster