Today, Bitcoin is becoming an official currency in El Salvador, and the markets and crypto exchanges seem to be struggling. On Tuesday morning, the price of Bitcoin plunged from around $50,000 down to under $43,000 according to Coinbase — it appears that the country’s official Bitcoin app also hasn’t been able to keep up.
CNBC reports that El Salvador’s official crypto app, Chivo, was unavailable for new users to install on Tuesday morning. The country’s president, Nayib Bukele, has since announced that the app would be reopening for signups, though he did call the new uptime a “test.”
Coinbase and Kraken, significant exchanges, have reported issues with transactions or payments not being processed or delayed. However, not everyone has issues trading. Cash App says no problems with its Bitcoin services, and Robinhood doesn’t report any problems trading crypto assets.
We’re aware transactions are currently delayed or cancelled at elevated rates and our apps may be experiencing errors. Our team is investigating the issue and we’ll update here as soon as we know more.— Coinbase Support (@CoinbaseSupport) September 7, 2021
El Salvador passed a resolution to adopt Bitcoin as an official currency in June. President Bukele has championed the money in both policy and Twitter, but it will not be the country’s sole currency. El Salvador used the US Dollar in the past, and it will still be accepted. Able vendors will accept both currencies. The Salvadorian government argues that Bitcoin will help citizens who don’t have access to traditional banking or often send or receive money from family in the United States.
This plan has sparked significant opposition within the country. The country’s capital has seen protests from hundreds of retirees and veterans concerned about pension payments, as well as unions and workers. Demonstrators raised concerns about Bitcoin’s potential instability and its impact on daily currency use. In response, President Bukele said that citizens were free to continue using the US dollar if they didn’t want to use the cryptocurrency.