El Salvador's bitcoin use grows but headaches persist

It's been a month since El Salvador became the first country in the world to make Bitcoin legal tender.

While more people in the Central American nation are adopting the cryptocurrency, its rollout has been far from smooth.

Only a fraction of businesses have taken a bitcoin payment and technical problems have plagued the government's cryptocurrency app - Chivo.

The government says about three million people have downloaded the app but few use it on a daily basis.

Some have reported irregularities with transactions and attempts of stolen identity.

According to the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development, just 12% of consumers have used Bitcoin.

Financial analyst Luis Membreno puts it down to fears about the currency's unpredictability.

"The same day that El Salvador implemented bitcoin as a national currency, it fell sharply and then reached 40,000 dollars. It has been recovering, but the Salvadoran people have lost confidence in bitcoin because the volatility that was being talked about became a reality. If bitcoin had risen at that time, the population would have seen that it had an advantage, and it would have been accepted."

In a country where one fifth of families depend on remittances from abroad - the need to send money cheaply and quickly is obvious.

President Nayib Bukele has thrown his weight behind Bitcoin as the solution and is hoping Salvadorans living in the U.S. will adopt it.

So far, 30 bitcoin ATMs to send remittances have been installed in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles.

Bukele says around $2 million is being sent via the Chivo app daily.

That's still pennies compared to the $6 billion worth of annual remittances the country receives.

Most of which still comes via money transfers.

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