“The people who most oppose the use of Bitcoin (BTC) are the economic elites who oppose Bukele.” “They are a kind of old guard who see digital currencies as a challenge to their banking monopoly.” That’s what Mike Peterson, one of the Main guide of Bitcoin Beach, El Salvador's pioneer stronghold.
During a YouTube conversation with Bitcoin podcast host Stephan Livera, Peterson speak about the challenges you are currently facing the adoption process of digital currency in the Central American country. Especially now that Nayib Bukele is starting a new term as president.
The Bitcoiner recognizes that there are several anti-Bitcoin groups whose actions are mainly motivated only by opposition to Bukele, although they also see BTC as a threat to their interests. Banks stand out among them They have a monopoly on it Send transfers come from abroad and are not comfortable with the widespread use of cryptocurrencies.
“In addition to the rich and the economic elite, there are also opponents from the middle class and sometimes even from the working class.” In this sense, Peterson admits that the adoption rates in the country are not high for various other reasons.
Appointment between the causes that technical difficulties with payment with cryptocurrencies.
“It usually happens in a store that only the manager or owner knows how to operate the terminal for BTC payments, while the employee is unaware of the process,” adds Peterson. This highlights a circumstance related to the lack of training that hinders the implementation of transactions at a practical level.
The above leads to many merchants choosing not to accept Bitcoin payments, even though there is a legal obligation to accept them. The demotivation was greater in 2022 when the Bitcoin market experienced a sharp decline. But from mid-2023 the interest is greater due to the price increase.
Therefore, the number of businesses in El Salvador that accept Bitcoin payments has increased. The statistics confirm it. Recent surveys show that the use of BTC rose to 12% last yearwith larger numbers of people making utility payments and shopping at supermarkets and home appliance stores.
Peterson reports that while it's not massive yet, it is now There are more large and medium-sized stores that accept Bitcoin in cities of El Salvador. Many of them have benefited from these payments since they do not accept credit cards.
However, there are also others who do not want to accept BTC. In fact, “only two of the car dealers get it,” Peterson said. And he adds that there are small businesses that are having difficulty receiving bitcoins because their customers are not using them, which he attributes to a debanking problem.
Román Martínez, another leader of Bitcoin Beach, has spoken on this topic several times. For him, Patience is key Given that residents of El Salvador had limited access to traditional banking services. This explains Salvadorans' preference for cash.
So remember that the 70% of the population is not paid in; “Many have not been able to participate in any type of investment in the traditional financial market, so it is unrealistic to think that people will learn to use payment technology overnight.” “We are moving forward,” Martínez added, “but it’s a process.”
Peterson concludes that while adoption is slow and still challenging, Yes, it is possible to live under the Bitcoin standard in El Salvador.