Bitcoin crashes on first day as El Salvador’s legal tender

Bitcoin could save the country $400m a year in transaction fees on funds sent from abroad

The price of Bitcoin on Tuesday crashed to its lowest in nearly a month, falling from $52,000 (£37,730) to under $43,000 at one point. An opposition politician said the fall caused one of Latin America’s poorest countries to lose $3m.

The rollout of bitcoin in El Salvador was far from what President Nayib Bukele would have envisaged when he began his bold experiment. Platforms such as Apple and Huawei weren’t offering the government-backed digital wallet, known as Chivo, and servers had to be pulled offline after they couldn’t keep up with user registrations.

The government has even given Salvadorans $30 each of Bitcoin to encourage its adoption. It says bitcoin could save the country $400m a year in transaction fees on funds sent from abroad. However, using data from the World Bank and the government, the BBC calculates this to be closer to $170m.

https://www.bbc.com/