El Salvador has approved a $150 million trust fund. The country set up the fund ahead of Bitcoin becoming a legal tender on September 7.
A $500 million loan gets a new purpose
The $150 million comes from the $500 million loan the country took out from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI). Originally, this money was meant to help small and medium-sized businesses. But it will now be used mainly to fund their plans with Bitcoin. The country currently has around 50,000 Bitcoin users. This could rise to 4 million users after the law is implemented.
El Salvador is going to use the $150 million to fund transactions between Bitcoin and the U.S. dollar, as well as the country’s fiat currency. Another 53.3 million dollars will realize the entire plan, including through the 200 Bitcoin ATMs installed in the country. They also allocated 30 million dollars to the national Bitcoin wallet, called Chivo. This is where citizens can store both bitcoin and the dollar.
Citizens will receive $30 in Bitcoin
Bitcoin is a new technology for many citizens, so the country is mainly focusing on explaining the technology and the wallet to citizens. All citizens will also receive $30 in Bitcoin in their Chivo wallet.
María Luisa Hayém Brevé, the Minister of Economy, said about the implementation of the plan, “We have several teams in the area to show the population how to use the Chivo Wallet. We have developed a user-friendly application so that all Salvadorans can learn how to use this cryptocurrency.”
Not everyone is happy with the new law
However, the new Bitcoin law that will soon come into effect has sparked protests in the country. Some citizens believe it will facilitate corruption. On the other hand, others are not happy about the volatility of Bitcoin and think it will hurt store owners.
Citizens are not the only ones who are not happy about Bitcoin becoming a legal tender in El Salvador. The World Bank and IMF have both expressed disapproval of El Salvador crypto legislation from the start, warning of the economic and legal risks the country faces if Bitcoin becomes an official legal tender.