Remittances to El Salvador are cheaper without using bitcoin

El Salvador president Nayib Bukele says the country will save $400 million a year in remittance fees by adopting bitcoin. That claim doesn’t necessarily stack up.

Why is El Salvador adopting bitcoin?

A quick recap: The Central American country rolled out its bitcoin wallet app, called Chivo, on Sept. 7. Businesses are now obliged to accept the crypto token and the US greenback, which was already a national currency, for payments. Bukele seeded the wallets using taxpayer money with $30 worth of bitcoin to get things rolling. The president is hoping to attract a new generation of crypto entrepreneurs and to cut the expense of remittances, which are estimated to make up around 20% of gross domestic product.

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