There's a Bitcoin Party in El Salvador and Everyone's Invited

The government is giving away $30 in bitcoins to those who create digital wallets.
Ameya Paleja

Following his ambitious announcement of using bitcoin as legal tender, El Salvador President Nayib Bukele is now pushing the cryptocurrency with incentives. The latest: $30 signup bonus for all those who open accounts on the government's official wallet. 

In a televised address, Bukele unveiled the official wallet, Chivo which is available as an app on Android and iOS. The app allows users to accept and send payments in US dollars, the national currency of El Salvador as well as bitcoin, which will be legal tender once the law comes into effect on September 7. Users can choose to accept money in dollars or bitcoin and can also purchase bitcoin without any fees on the app.

Just in case, you were thinking of jumping in, hold on. While the app is free for anyone to use, one needs to sign up using a phone number and their "Documento Único de Identidad"(DUI) number. DUI is only issued to Salvadorians aged 18 years and above. The DUI will also be verified using facial recognition or through a call center to offer protection to the people, who have been worried about the fallout of the new legislation.

The televised address was aimed to address the concerns of Salvadorians, many of whom are afraid that the US dollar will cease being the national currency. Fortune reported Bukele saying "All salaries and pensions will still be paid in dollars and bank accounts that contain dollars will not be converted to Bitcoin."

The signup bonus is an incentive to Salvadorians to adopt bitcoin as well as the digital way of transacting. It is estimated that 70 percent of Salvadorians do not have a bank account. The bonus will only be paid in bitcoin, although individuals will retain the choice of transacting in dollars or bitcoin. 

In another approach to push bitcoin into daily transactions, the country is also setting up 1500 bitcoin ATMs, Coin Telegraph reported.

El Salvador's ambitious push for bitcoin has encouraged other countries to set course to adopt the cryptocurrency as well. 

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