El Salvador unplugs digital wallet to cope with bitcoin demand
El Salvador unplugged its digital wallet on Tuesday to cope with demand after the nation became the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender.
El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, said on Twitter that the digital wallet, Chivo, was disconnected while it increased the capacity of its servers, The Associated Press reported.
“We prefer to correct it before we connect it again,” Bukele said, according to the AP.
Bukele also urged Apple, Google and Huawei to allow downloads of the digital wallet, Reuters reported.
“Release him! @Apple @Google and @Huawei,” Bukele tweeted along with a red-faced angry emoji.
— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) September 7, 2021
The wallet was later available to download from Apple and Huawei.
Bukele said that adopting cryptocurrency would help citizens be introduced to formal banking, adding that it would be a cheap alternative to purchasing remittances abroad. El Salvador holds 550 bitcoin.
Businesses in El Salvador will be required to accept bitcoin as legal payment. The government is creating a trust with public funds to aid in dollar conversions.
But more than 1,000 people protested the bitcoin implementation around noon, Reuters reported. Demonstrators marched to the Supreme Court building, burned a tire and set off fireworks.
Further, bitcoin’s value fell by 17 percent on Tuesday, according to The Wall Street Journal.