El Salvador's Bitcoin wallet Chivo receives $52M in remittances in 2022
The Chivo app, which was launched in September 2021, reportedly attracted more than 2 million users in less than a month
By Shashank Bhardwaj
The El Salvador Central Reserve Bank reports that from January to May of this year, remittances from Salvadorans residing abroad totalled more than $50 million. On Wednesday's episode of the regional television news program Frente a Frente, Douglas Rodrguez—president of El Salvador's central bank—explained the broad economic outlook for the nation. He also noted that $52 million in remittances were processed by the country's digital wallet service Chivo in the first five months of the year.
El Salvador became the first nation in the world to adopt Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender in September 2021, at which point Chivo was released. The primary crypto service provider for Chivo is Bitso, a major exchange in Latin America. In essence, Chivo provides customers with commission-free transfers and payments in both BTC and USD.
Nayib Bukele, the president of El Salvador and a major champion of Bitcoin, has previously claimed that the app will save users $400 million a year in fees from utilising traditional remittance and payment service providers in the nation.
More than two million users are said to have downloaded the app in less than a month of its release, which caused significant teething challenges for the state-approved payment platform. The same month, El Salvador's president Bukele announced on Twitter that after just three weeks of operation, Chivo had more subscribers than any bank in El Salvador.
Chivo also utilises the Bitcoin layer-2 payment protocol Lightning Network. Over the past year, Lightning Network transaction volumes have increased 400 percent in El Salvador due to Bitcoin and Chivo adoption.
The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash
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