El Salvadoran retirees and veterans are concerned that the government may begin paying their pensions in Bitcoin rather than US dollars.
Salvadorans came to the streets to oppose the acceptance of Bitcoin (BTC) as an official currency as El Salvador prepared to legally enforce the country’s Bitcoin Law in early September.
El Salvador’s anti-Bitcoiners have expressed discontent regarding the government’s plans to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, with hundreds of protesters marching through the capital, San Salvador, last Friday, Euronews TV network reported.
The demonstrators — including retirees, veterans, disability pensioners and workers — voiced their concerns over Bitcoin’s unstable price. The crowd was worried that the government would start paying their pensions in Bitcoin instead of the United States dollar.
“We know this coin fluctuates drastically. Its value changes from one second to another, and we will have no control over it,” Stanley Quinteros, a member of the Supreme Court of Justice’s workers’ union, reportedly said. Salvadorans also expressed concerns over the lack of knowledge and understanding of the technology needed to use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Protesters held up signs saying, “We don’t want Bitcoin” and “No to corrupt money laundering.”
— Blanca Huezo (@blanca_huezo) August 26, 2021
According to local reports, El Salvador’s latest anti-Bitcoin protests were apparently a part of a wider opposition campaign by local veterans protesting over low pensions on Friday. As such, some protesters reportedly demanded a pension increase from $100 to $300.
The most recent anti-Bitcoin rallies in El Salvador came in the wake of mounting doubt over the country’s Bitcoin move. Last week, the Salvadoran Association of International Freight Carriers reportedly launched anti-Bitcoin protests, urging the government to reconsider Bitcoin’s mandatory acceptance in El Salvador.
In early June, Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele unveiled legislation to accept Bitcoin as legal tender alongside the US dollar, as previously reported by Cointelegraph. The bill was later approved by the nation’s Legislative Assembly and is set to go into effect on September 7. Last Monday, the president stated that Salvadorans would be free to avoid using Bitcoin, stating:
“What if someone doesn’t want to use Bitcoin? Don’t download the Chivo app and continue living your normal life. Nobody is going to take your dollars. Someone can always queue up at Western Union and pay a commission.”