El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law will come into effect on September 7, 2021. As the country moves into fully embracing BTC as legal tender, opposition from critics, international financial entities, and others rise.
A recently published survey, conducted by the University Institute of Public Opinion (IudopUCA), claims that 7 out of every 10 Salvadorians believe the Bitcoin Law “should be repealed”.
In addition, the study concluded that 9 out of 10 Salvadorians “have an inaccurate notion or don’t know what Bitcoin is”.
The survey was conducted from August 13th to the 20th of 2021. The IudopUCA claims that it has a national scope, researchers from this institution physically went to the participants’ homes. At the end of these visits, they were able to obtain 1,281 valid results.
When asked what Bitcoin is, 44% of the respondent said that it’s a digital currency, and 20.6% said that they don’t know. Other participants said that BTC is a cryptocurrency, a “new currency”, money, and more.
These results seem contradictory to the survey’s conclusion: most of the people in El Salvador “don’t know” what Bitcoin is when almost 50% of the respondent said either a cryptocurrency or a digital currency.
However, the institution behind the survey considers that these respondents are wrong because BTC is “not a currency, nor money, but a financial asset”. Thus, how they arrived at that conclusion.
At the same time, the results from the survey questioned the main reason why a Bitcoin Law was introduced. According to their results, only 2.8% of the respondents have a good economical situation because of remittances, a 51% said that their economic situation is tied to local jobs.
There is a palpable concern about inflation, per the survey’s results, from Salvadorians. The introduction of BTC as legal tender, contrary to the perception in the crypto community, only aids to increase economic-related concerns, at least, for a portion of the respondents.
4 out of every 10 Salvadorians believe the economy will “worsen with Bitcoin”. 7 out of 10 participants (65.2%) disagree with the measure to “spent public money” to launch BTC in the country, and 55.5% claimed to have no trust in the cryptocurrency.
In addition, 54.3% of the respondents believe BTC will bring inflation to their country, as seen below.
Bitcoin Is Money In El Salvador?
Ironically, Bitcoin in El Salvador operates mainly via the second layer solution Lightning Network that enables fast payments. As such, many merchants in the country can accept BTC mostly in its smaller denomination, the Satoshi.
General partner at Castle Island Ventures Nic Carter explored how Bitcoin functions like money, unlike gold, due to its characteristics. In a Medium post, Carter said:
(…) there is no distinction between bitcoin in its raw, elemental form, and bitcoin in its money-ready form. The two are one and the same. Thus, we resolve the puzzle of bitcoin as a gold-like money. Bitcoin is natively standardized.
Alex Gladstein, Chief Strategy Officer for the Human Rights Foundation, has been testing the efficiency of Bitcoin in El Salvador as a medium of exchange for remittances and commerce. Gladstein visited the country, testing the Lightning Network implementation via Strike, the Bitcoin-based company run by Jack Mallers.
According to Gladstein, his experience with the cryptocurrency has been “flawless”.
Flawless experience using @MuunWallet here in El Zonte to buy all sorts of things with Bitcoin 👌
If you visit, make sure to stop by for a coffee with Karla, an excellent barista.
— Alex Gladstein 🌋 ⚡ (@gladstein) September 2, 2021
The survey from the IudopUCA has been heavily criticized by a sector in the crypto community. With so few days for the implementation of the BTC law, only time will tell if the Salvadorians’ concerns were unfounded or correct.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin trades at $49,616 with a 1.8% loss in the daily chart.