Bitcoin ATM Burned During Protests Against El Salvador’s President


Thousands of people took to the streets of the capital on Wednesday and vandalized a crypto kiosk in the country’s capital to protest against El Salvador’s President Naib Bukele concerning recent policies.

Protesters in San Salvador protest Bouquet’s controversial decision to convert bitcoin into a currency in El Salvador. On September 7, the government launched a national digital wallet called “Chivo” for tokens, but the system rolled out due to bugs and intermittent offline use.

During Wednesday’s demonstration, some protesters attacked the new Chivo cash machines set up to handle bitcoin transactions, setting fire to at least one machine.

While citing the aftermath, San Salvador Mayor Mario Duran said city workers had fled the area following threats but were planning to return this afternoon. At the time of publication, only the Chivo machine in the Plaza Gerardo Barrios in the center of the capital appeared to be damaged, but protesters reportedly set fire to furniture from a shop in the Plaza.

The Chivo Kiosk – similar to the Bitcoin ATM, part of one of 200 ATMs installed in El Salvador and part of the government’s effort to recognize BTC as a legal tender with US dollars. President Bukele said he hopes crypto ATMs will be available anywhere in the country but also said that no one will be forced to use Bitcoin.

Even before the Bitcoin Act came into force on September 7, El Salvador faced resistance from Protesters known as the Popular Resistance and Rebellion Block which marched through the streets of the capital in July, while on the other hand retirees, veterans, disabled pensioners, and other workers staged their own demonstration next month.

The country’s bitcoin law, which was passed by a large majority in the El Salvador Congress in June, requires all technically capable businesses to accept tokens as payment. Private citizens are not responsible for owning or using it.

Bitcoin is constantly changing in value, which limits the token function to currency. The price of cryptocurrency fell 11.1 percent on September 7, the day El Salvador accepted it as a legal tender.

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