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 fell from around $ 50,000 to below $ 43,000, according to Coinbase – it seems that the country’s official Bitcoin app couldn’t keep up either.
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 will be reopened for logins, although he described the new operating time as a “test”.
Large exchanges like Coinbase and Kraken have also reported problems with payments or transactions that are not executed or that are delayed. Not everyone has trading issues, however: Cash App has reported no issues with its Bitcoin services, and Robinhood has not reported any issues with trading crypto assets either.
We understand that transactions are currently being delayed or canceled at elevated prices and that our apps may experience errors. Our team is investigating the issue and we will update here as soon as we know more.
– Coinbase support (@CoinbaseSupport) September 7, 2021
Kraken’s status page while the issues were occurring.
El Salvador passed a resolution in June to introduce Bitcoin as its official currency. President Bukele has campaigned for the currency both in politics and on Twitter, though it won’t be the country’s only currency. (El Salvador has historically used the US dollar, which is still accepted in the country.) Sellers who are able to do so must accept both currencies. The Salvadoran government argues that Bitcoin will help citizens who do not have access to traditional banking or who frequently send or receive money from their families in the United States.
The plan has sparked significant backlash in the country. Protests by hundreds of retirees and veterans worried about pension payments, as well as trade unions and workers, took place in the country’s capital. Protesters have raised concerns about the potentially unstable price of Bitcoin and how this could affect its use as an everyday currency. In response, President Bukele said that citizens are free to continue using the US dollar if they do not want to use the cryptocurrency.