Protesters burn Chivo kiosks to protest against the new Bitcoin Law
A week following the release of Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender in El Salvador, the country’s citizens are protesting President Nayib Bukele’s policies.
In massive demonstrations led by Bitcoin detractors and Salvadorans, protesters have destroyed crypto ATMs and kiosks in the capital city, San Salvador.
Local news outlet Teleprensa and others have broadcasted videos on their social media that shows a Chivo-supported kiosk burning in the huge presence of protestors and journalists. One Bitcoin machine was also seen defaced with anti-BTC slogans, one of which read “democracy is not for sale.”
Mayor of the city, Mario Durán, said that the city’s workers had been successful in evacuating the streets of protestors, but they would return again, as overheard. The damage at present seems limited to the centrally located Plaza Gerardo Barrios, where Chivo machines have been broken and defiled. The protesting citizens have also burned furniture in one of the shops inside the plaza.
The Chivo kiosk, part of the Salvadoran government’s rollout plan, is installed across the city, totalling 200 in number. Although President Bukele had said at its launch that hopefully there would be more crypto ATMs, eventually one “everywhere” in the country, there would be no force on citizens to use Bitcoin.
El Salvador faced hesitations from within the country even before the Bitcoin Law came into effect on September 7. Citizens calling themselves ‘the Popular Resistance’ and ‘the Rebellion Block’ labelled it as a “radical legislation”, leading them to march the capital city streets in July. Soon another group of protestors, consisting of veterans, retirees, disability pensioners and others, formed their own demonstration in August.
On its launch day, crypto prices dropped below $43,000, prompting President Bukele to declare he “bought the dip” with an additional purchase of 150 BTC.