From The Ground: A Salvadoran With The Latest On Chivo Wallet And BTC Education

By Eduardo Próspero

BTCUSD price chart for 01/27/2022 - TradingView

For current information about the Chivo Wallet, you have to ask a Salvadoran. It was about time we brought another El Salvador native to “From The Ground.” The previous one, Darvin Otero, was a tech entrepreneur with skin in the game. This time, it’s a pseudonymous Reddit user with nothing to gain and nothing to lose. His tale brings the most up-to-date information this feature has ever had.

Sadly, “the hype about BTC has decreased and as I have said many times, nothing has really changed.” To add insult to injury, he confirms what the Bitcoin community fears, “there hasn’t been any type of crypto education aside from how to use chivo wallet.”

Also, the discourse around Bitcoin is also losing steam, “the only thing you hear on social media right now is “buy the dip”. The “BTC against inflation” is not used now compared to a couple of months ago.”

In Bitcoinist’s From The Ground series, we’ve brought you the Dutch, Salvadoran, French, North American One and Two, Italian, and Austrian perspectives on El Salvador.

It’s time for another Salvadoran.

The Chivo Wallet Keeps Suspending Accounts

You’ve heard the horror stories about “identity fraud,” and how many people have had their $30 bonus stolen. Well, to counteract that, the Chivo Wallet operators have been suspending accounts left and right. That happened to the pseudonymous poster’s father, and when they went to try to fix it this dystopian scene happened:

“We arrived at the chivo point, told the story to a lady there, and start the verification process, she took photos and videos of my father face and his ID, fill some papers and we were told to wait 30 days…that was in December…up to this day my father account is still suspended, I did call again to customer service but they just told me to wait, technicians have a lot of work to do since there are many cases like this. Whether my father gets his money back or not, he won’t be using BTC again…”

Could we blame him? The Chivo Wallet’s devastating problems will keep a lot of people away from Bitcoin. Talk about a bad first impression.

Not only that, the pseudonymous Salvadorean puts us on to another scam they’re running over there. “Remember that the chivo wallet allows you to send and receive money from a bank account?” Well, they are taking control of the Chivo Wallets, and “In this way, they steal money from people’s bank accounts without leaving a trace (since no one has been caught).”

BTC price chart for 01/27/2022 on Coinbase | Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com

On The Good News Side, Bitcoin Is Working For Remittances

The intrepid Salvadoran tells us, “On the other hand, in 2021 remittances increased by 26% compared to 2020.” And points us to this article by El Salvador’s central bank, that says:

“Family remittances received by El Salvador totaled US$7,517.1 million in the period from January to December 2021. This constitutes a record income according to the historical statistics of this variable. Compared to the same period in 2020, there was an increase of US$1,587.2 million (26.8% more).

The number of operations registered as of December was 23.6 million, the increase was 2.5 million, equivalent to 12.1% more than in the same period during 2020. On the other hand, the amount of the average monetary remittance per operation was US$309.90, that’s an increase of 13.3% (an additional US$31.53)”

The Chivo Wallet Is Not As Widely Used As Reported

In the comments, the pseudonymous Salvadoran confirms another hard to swallow fact that everyone in the Bitcoin community suspected:

“Indeed, people download and install chivo but just for the $30 bonus…and that’s it…they don’t use it anymore.

Pay attention and you will see that government never talks about daily transactions or in which businesses the chivo app is used the most, neither how btc changed people’s life (because nothing has changed).”

And gives us the man on the street perspective on how widely used BTC really is. “Aside the beach and similar touristic places, btc is not used at all, people prefer cash or credit/debit cards.”

In any case, Bitcoin has been legal tender in El Salvador for less than a year. Everything’s a process. The education the Bitcoin Law promised should already be in place, though. That’s the first and most important step. And, let’s face it, there’s something suspicious about the Chivo Wallet. Technical problems aside, there’s something dark at the core of that app.

Featured Image by Peter Neumann on Unsplash  | Charts by TradingView