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Protests in El Salvador demand repeal of the Bitcoin Law

Key facts:

For Protestants, the law wastes resources that could be used to alleviate poverty.

They claim that only a few businessmen in the government benefit from the law.

A group of protesters spoke out on public roads against the Bitcoin Law in San Salvador, the capital city of El Salvador. They even presented a proposal to repeal the regulations approved in June and, instead, invest the money in “solving the problems of poverty and marginalization of 40% of the country’s population.”

The demonstration was described by Diario El Mundo of El Salvador, and in it you can see a group of people marching through the streets with a flag that reads “No to Bitcoin.” Once they arrived at the headquarters of the Legislative Assembly, they were received by deputies Dina Argueta and Anabel Belloso.

The group that organized the protest was the Bloque de Resistencia y Rebeldia Popular, considered a left-wing movement in the Salvadoran political spectrum. In the brief presented to the deputies, this organization describes the Bitcoin Law as “nefarious, deceitful and unconsulted” and “demands its repeal.”

Among the reasons for arguing this opposition to the legislative measure, the first one cited is that “it was imposed by President Nayib Bukele without consulting the people, improvised and without technical studies.” In this section, it is also argued that, according to opinion polls, the people and the majority of businessmen reject it because it will have negative consequences on prices and income and because it is only beneficial to a few people. The latter, claim the Protestants, are close to the government and have the purpose of “laundering ill-gotten money.”

Likewise, the stability of bitcoin (BTC), a cryptocurrency that is alleged to be “highly volatile and therefore speculative,” is also being questioned. “Whoever converts 100 dollars into bitcoin, the next day can have half,” express the opponents who demonstrated. “It’s like playing the lottery,” they argue, except that this is “mandatory, not a voluntary act.”

As a last resort, the alleged tax exemptions for entrepreneurs are also questioned that they put their capital in bitcoin and public spending for the implementation of the law is criticized. With respect to this, they detail the 150 million dollars that will be invested in creating a convertibility box from bitcoin to dollars, the 30 dollars per person that will be given to those who download the State purse (which add up to a total of 75 million dollars , according to the statement) and infrastructure costs. This includes ATMs and investments in connectivity.

Media from El Salvador showed the protests against the Bitcoin Law through social networks. Source: Twitter.

For the representatives of the Popular Resistance and Rebellion Bloc who issued the statement, all this money could be used to alleviate the poverty situation “That 40% of the country’s population lives.” In addition, they also argue that bitcoin would facilitate illegal activities such as public corruption, drug, arms and people trafficking and tax evasion. Finally, the cryptocurrency “would cause monetary chaos, hit people’s salaries, pensions and savings and ruin many MSMEs, affect peasant families and hit the middle classes,” they conclude.

Questioning the protests

The demonstrations also had their criticism among certain members of the crypto community. For example, users on Twitter expressed the “unheard of” to see people demonstrate against bitcoin, a cryptocurrency that, according to their vision, promotes individual freedoms and represents an alternative to the dollar, the other official currency of El Salvador.

Other twitter users, meanwhile, echoed images that would demonstrate a very few people calling to express themselves against the Bitcoin Law. It should be clarified that, beyond the photos published on the social network, it is not known when they were taken or if that was indeed the number of people who attended the mobilization.

Legislative support for opponents of bitcoin in El Salvador

Analía Belloso, one of the deputies who supported the movement against the adoption of cryptocurrency in the Central American country, stated at a press conference that “nobody wants bitcoin” and that the majority of the population is against the sanctioned law in June by the Assembly.

Legislator Analía Belloso speaks out against bitcoin. Source: Twitter.

Likewise, Belloso expressed concern about the leak of meetings of the president’s brothers with foreign businessmen for the creation of a digital colón. As CriptoNoticias reported, this project was scrapped. Meanwhile, several non-governmental organizations have asked for explanations in this regard in recent days, especially regarding the involvement of Bukele’s relatives in presidential affairs.

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