The Defiant

Bitcoin Users in El Salvador Halved to 12% Last Year: Survey

Bitcoiners living in the country are skeptical of the number, however.

By: Pedro Solimano Loading...

Bitcoin Users in El Salvador Halved to 12% Last Year: Survey

Only one in 10 Salvadorans used Bitcoin in the past year, a recent survey found – but even that may be a stretch.

According to a recent study by the University Institute of Public Opinion of El Salvador, 12% of Salvadorans used bitcoin in the past year. This represents a significant drop in usage year-on-year. The same center revealed last year that 21% of Salvadorans had used bitcoin in 2022.

Of the remaining respondents, 85% claim they haven’t used it in the past year, while 3% said they have never used it.

Bitcoin is legal tender in the country since September 2019. It has been debated how much the system is used in the Central American nation, which has earned the tag of “Bitcoin Country.”

The 45-page report highlights that only 0.5% of the population thinks that Bitcoin has helped to improve the country’s economy.

Of the Salvadorans that used Bitcoin in the past year, 22% said they bought clothes with the crypto, 20% had used it at a supermarket, and 12% paid their utility bills with BTC.

Bitcoiners are Skeptical

“Thinking that more than 10% of the country uses Bitcoin is like saying half of the population of San Salvador [the capita] is bitcoinized,” says Javier Bastardo, Bitfinex’s Bitcoin ambassador to Latin America, who currently lives in El Salvador.

According to Bastardo, the figure doesn’t make much sense, unless it’s focusing on those that used Chivo to withdraw the $30 dollar Bitcoin bonus offered to nationals back in 2021.

Bitcoin Country has been widely touted as a nation-wide experiment led by president Nayib Bukele to foster innovation and technologically-led development. Bukele recently announced the country’s Bitcoin bet is now in profit.

While Bastardo admits to The Defiant that Bitcoin firms are growing fast in El Salvador, it still hasn’t reached meaningful adoption within the local population. “I’d say it’s a 5 in terms of success from 1-10,” he concluded.

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