The New York Times
El Salvador faced a rocky transition in its adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender on Tuesday. The government’s app for facilitating transactions — its “digital wallet” — went offline temporarily, protesters took to the streets of the capital to denounce the move, and the price of Bitcoin dropped sharply, demonstrating the volatility of the cryptocurrency market.
The country is the first to use Bitcoin as an official currency, encouraging businesses and citizens to use it in everyday transactions, and the authorities struggled to smooth out glitches in the new system.
President Nayib Bukele wrote on Twitter on Tuesday morning that the digital wallet, which is called Chivo after a slang word for “cool,” would be available to Salvadorans in the United States and almost anywhere in the world. But even as large companies such as McDonald’s began accepting Bitcoin payments in El Salvador, for a time the wallet was not available to anyone, and the country slowed its rollout.
Mr. Bukele also announced on Twitter that servers were temporarily being taken offline as Chivo added capacity, and he acknowledged issues with downloads. “We prefer to correct it before reconnecting it,” he said.