El Salvador President Nayib Bukele confirmed on Thursday that the country’s new Bitcoin laws, which make the digital currency a legal tender, will come into effect from September 7.
Additionally, he said that the government will airdrop $30 worth of Bitcoins to every adult citizen in the Latin American country. But, they have to download the El Salvador government’s official Bitcoin wallet application.
This move has been cheered by the wide cryptocurrency community around the world. Though the official count of El Salvador’s adult citizens is not known, many are estimating that the count could be around 4.5 million. The country has a total population of 6.45 million, according to world bank data.
If all the adults in the country opt-in to receive the free Bitcoins, it will grow the Bitcoin user community by almost 2.5 percent, according to an estimation by on-chain analyst Willy Woo. But, the distribution will cost the El Salvadoran government more than $100 million to procure the Bitcoins.
6 million people added to the crypto ecosystem in one go. 👏 pic.twitter.com/DVoW6vLrAK
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El Salvador passed the iconic legislation a couple of weeks earlier, making Bitcoin a legal tender in the country.
“The use of Bitcoin will be optional, nobody will receive Bitcoin if they don’t want it…If someone receives a payment in Bitcoin they can choose to automatically receive it in dollars,” President Bukele said in Thursday’s press conference.
Moreover, he stressed that salaries and pensions will continue to be paid in US dollars. One of the main reasons behind making Bitcoin legal tender, according to the President, is to ease the remittance process. Indeed, the country receives around $6 billion annually as inward remittance, as stated by the World Bank.
The country’s Bitcoin stance has prompted crypto businesses to set up shop there. Recently, Athena Bitcoin said that it will invest around $1 million to install around 1,500 Bitcoin ATMs in El Salvador.