El Salvador protest breaks out against Bitcoin adoption
Angry protests, technological glitches and a dip in the cryptocurrency clouded the rollout of Bitcoin in El Salvador.
People marched in El Salvador’s capital to protest against the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender amid a bumpy initial rollout of systems to support the digital currency.
El Salvador became the first country in the world to accept Bitcoin as legal tender on Tuesday.
Protesters burned tyres and set off fireworks in front of the Supreme Court building as the government deployed heavily armed police to the scene.
“This is a currency that’s not going to work for pupusa vendors, bus drivers or shopkeepers,” said a San Salvador resident who opposed the adoption of the cryptocurrency. Pupusas are a traditional Salvadoran corn-based food.
“This is a currency that’s ideal for big investors who want to speculate with their economic resources.”
The protest came as El Salvador’s government was rushing to iron out technological snags in Bitcoin’s first-day rollout. Ahead of the launch, El Salvador bought 400 Bitcoins worth about $20m.