The Salvadoran government’s bitcoin digital wallet Chivo has been plagued by technical issues for the fourth day in a row, a setback that could discourage locals from signing up for the programme championed by President Nayib Bukele.
Accessing the wallet, withdrawing money from ATMs, and data verification issues, as well as the government failing to deposit the US$30 bonus, have all been reported. According to conversations with at least 10 Chivo users and user concerns posted on Twitter and Facebook, Bukele promised all Chivo users the most common issues.
On Wednesday, Bukele stepped in to oversee the tumultuous launch of the payments software that supports El Salvador’s adoption of bitcoin as legal cash. Chivo, which promises commission-free transactions and which his government intends to be adopted by the unbanked, has been disconnected multiple times due to technical difficulties.
Bukele’s administration hopes that 2.5 million Salvadorans, or 39% of the population, will download Chivo, which is called after a local term that means “good.” He claims that using bitcoin will save Salvadorans US$400 million in remittance commissions each year.
However, many of the people who send or receive dollars in El Salvador are sceptical of bitcoin. Because of the cryptocurrency’s significant volatility, several people are concerned about losing money.
According to Refinitiv data, Bitcoin has witnessed daily trading swings of 10% or more ten times this year, as well as in 2020 and 2019. In both 2018 and 2017, there were 17 days in each year when the market moved by 10% or more.