A third of El Salvador's population is actively using its bitcoin wallet Chivo, President Nayib Bukele says

President Nayib Bukele is a crypto enthusiast. Emerson Flores/APHOTOGRAFIA/Getty Images
El Salvador's president stated that 2.1 million people are using Chivo, a bitcoin wallet.

Nayib Bukele stated that the wallet has more users now than any bank in El Salvador.

The figures suggest that there is mixed reaction to bitcoin being legal tender in the country.

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Nayib Bukele, President of El Salvador, stated that a third population uses the Chivo cryptocurrency wallet after bitcoin was legalized earlier this month.

Bukele tweeted that the wallet was being used by 2.1 million Salvadorans over the weekend. He stated that although Chivo isn't a bank, in just three weeks it had more users than any El Salvador bank and was moving quickly to have more users than [sic] ALL BANKS EL SALVADOR together. This is crazy!

Bukele's claim is the latest insight into El Salvador's controversial adoption.

El Salvador launched bitcoin as a legal tender on September 7. Businesses must accept it as payment. However, the rollout was not smooth.

International Monetary Fund criticized the decision and some Salvadorans protested. The day after the launch, bitcoin dropped sharply as the government took the Chivo wallet offline because of capacity issues.

Continue reading: I tried to use Bitcoin in El Salvador. It's a mess.

Chivo, a cryptocurrency wallet that allows people and businesses to send and receive Bitcoin, is available as an Android and Apple app. The government preloaded $30 worth of bitcoin into Salvadorans' accounts. They could then access Chivo by downloading it.

According to Bukele's numbers, 2.1 million people use the wallet regularly, which suggests that there is a mixed response from the nation's population. This suggests that two-thirds are not interested in bitcoin.

Many see Bukele as an authoritarian leader. He argues that bitcoin legalization will make it easier to access financial services and lower remittance fees for Salvadorans living abroad.

JPMorgan called El Salvador's move a "foolish experiment". According to the bank, crypto assets are highly volatile so shop prices are likely fluctuate greatly.