FILE PHOTO: President of El Salvador Nayib Bukele speaks in a news conference about government security policy in San Salvador, El Salvador July 2, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
President of El Salvador Nayib Bukele speaks in a news conference about government security policy in San SalvadorReuters
  • Protesters late last week took to the streets to oppose El Salvador’s bitcoin adoption.
  • The protests appeared to be part of a broader mobilization by pensioners demanding higher payouts, according to local media reports.
  • President Nayib Bukele’s move to bring on bitcoin as his country’s legal tender by September 7 has prompted criticism by big-money players like ratings agencies and banks.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Honking cars and bullhorns rang out in San Salvador late last week as protesters took to the streets to oppose El Salvador’s imminent bitcoin adoption, according to several reports.

Bearing signs like “No to corrupt money laundering!” and “We don’t want bitcoin,” protesters in El Salvador’s capital decried the cryptocurrency’s volatility and opacity, according to a Reuters journalist at the scene.

“We know this coin fluctuates drastically,” a labor union representative at the protests told Reuters. “Its value changes from one second to another and we will have no control over it.”

The anti-bitcoin protests appeared to be part of a broader mobilization by pensioners demanding higher payouts, according to local media reports cited by CoinTelegraph. Some were wary of the government doling out pension benefits in bitcoin, which could hurt pensioners’ purchasing power in times of volatility.

President Nayib Bukele’s move to bring on bitcoin as his country’s legal tender by September 7 has prompted criticism by big-money players like ratings agencies and banks, who fear the country will jeopardize a key International Monetary Fund loan negotiation.

In the past month, Moody’s downgraded El Salvador’s sovereign debt, while Fitch Ratings did the same for local insurance companies. Both ratings agencies cited the bitcoin law’s steep downside risks and hasty implementation.

“The law was adopted extremely quickly, without a technical study or a public debate,” Ricardo Castañeda, a Salvadorean economist, told the Guardian. “I don’t think the president has fully understood the implications of the law, its potential to cause serious macroeconomic problems and convert the country into a haven for money laundering.”

“The shift from euphoria to skepticism has been very fast,” he added. SOURCE Protests are breaking out against El Salvador’s planned bitcoin adoption, with demonstrators decrying the token’s volatility and potential for corruption | Currency News | Financial and Business News | Markets Insider (businessinsider.com)

By block head

Block Head is a blockchain journalist.