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Poll Shows 70 Pct of Salvadorans Are Anti-Bitcoin

As the government in El Salvador readies to adopt bitcoin as legal tender on Tuesday (Sept. 7), a poll by the Central American University (UCA) shows that almost 70 percent of residents are not happy about it, Reuters and other media reported on Friday (Sept. 3).

The poll by UCA, also known as José Simeón Cañas Central American University, surveyed 1,281 residents and a minimum of 67.9 percent indicated they disagreed or strongly disagreed with adopting bitcoin as legal tender.

A little more than 32 percent said that they agreed on some level, per reports. Some 70 percent of respondents were in favor of having officials repeal the law.

See also: El Salvador To Launch Bitcoin Wallet In Sept.

The study by the Jesuit university based in El Salvador was conducted in August and also showed that 90 percent of respondents indicated they didn’t fully understand cryptocurrency. Some 80 percent indicated they had little or no confidence in the digital currency.

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele announced in June that the country was adopting bitcoin as legal tender and the optional digital wallet — the Chivo wallet — would start people off with $30 in bitcoin. 

Bukele said at the time that the adoption of digital currency would help generate jobs and foster financial inclusion. Once the law is official, El Salvador will be the first country to treat bitcoin as money.

See also: El Salvador Could Be First Country To Accept Bitcoin As Cash

“What we can see in this survey, in addition to this broad rejection of the implementation of bitcoin as legal tender, is that for the first time we found a significant disagreement between the population and decisions being made by the Legislative Assembly and the president,” said UCA Dean Andreu Oliva, per Reuters.

The study also showed that 65 percent of respondents had no interest in the Chivo wallet or the $30, CryptoPotato reported. More than 95 percent believe the use of bitcoin should not be mandatory. 

People demonstrated their opposition to the new law last month by marching through the capital San Salvador to voice their concerns. Protesters waved signs that said “Bukele we don’t want bitcoin” and “No to corrupt money laundering,” according to a report in Euronews.

See also: Argentina President Cautiously Supports Bitcoin

Countries in Central and South America are waiting to see how the adoption of bitcoin works out in El Salvador. Argentina is particularly interested in the possibility because crypto could be an alternative to the devaluation of the Argentine peso, PYMNTS reported in August. 

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