On September 7, Bitcoin became legal tender in El Salvador. To assist El Salvador in launching the state-supported BTC wallet, Bitso – a significant cryptocurrency exchange in Latin America, has been chosen as the core crypto service provider.
Bitso was founded in 2014; some big U.S. giants back the company like Coinbase and Ripple. The company’s user base tripled from July 2020 to September 2021 and also raised $250 million earlier in 2021.
Bitso will assist the BTC wallet, Chivo, alongside Silvergate Bank, Athena Bitcoin, and blockchain firm Algorand.
Silvergate Bank, a California state-chartered commercial bank and a United States Federal Reserve member, will work with Bitso to facilitate U.S. dollar transactions for the Chivo wallet. Athena Bitcoin will provide some front-end services and Chivo’s ATM-related operations, while Algorand will act as the official blockchain provider.
El Salvador’s BTC wallet, Chivo, has been launched today amid the celebrations of Bitcoin day. The wallet will be available on both Android and iOS. The users will be enabled to send and receive bitcoins from anywhere in the world. The wallet will automatically convert BTC transactions into dollars, and users will be allowed to either keep their holdings or withdraw them from Bitcoin ATMs across the country in the form of cash.
Chivo users will not be paying any fees regarding the transactions. A spokesperson said,
None of the withdrawals, deposits or other transactions and The Salvadoran government has created strategic partnerships to ensure that convertibility is undergone at the most competitive prices possible, and users will not have to be faced with covering any costs.
It should also be noted that using the Chivo wallet is not compulsory for the users, and those without the citizenship of El Salvador can also have access to the wallet. The Vice President of Bitso, Santiago Alvarado, also said,
Bitcoin acceptance positively impacts the lives of millions of Salvadorans. Over the last seven years, we have worked tirelessly to identify the best approach to make Bitcoin accessible to more than 2.75 million customers across Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil. Today, as the leading crypto-service provider for El Salvador’s wallet, we are committed to making crypto useful for Salvadorans.
The president of the country, Nayib Bukele, expressed happiness over the move and addressed that the Chivo wallet app has temporary capacity issues causing installation errors. He said that the app would be disconnected temporarily to fix all the issues. He assured that the app would be available in every country and to everyone.
President Bukele announced legislation to accept Bitcoin as legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar in early June, aiming to bank the unbanked population using the digital currency as 70% of Salvadorans lack access to essential financial services. The bill subsequently passed the nation’s Legislative Assembly and was scheduled to be enforced on September 7.