A recent survey conducted by the University of Central America (UCA) estimated that 77% of the polled Salvadorans think adopting bitcoin as a legal tender 13 months ago was a mistake.
However, nearly 76% of the locals remain supportive of their BTC-loving President Nayib Bukele, who has initiated numerous reforms and waged war on domestic drug cartels.
Salvadorans not Withdrawing Their Support
The small Latin American nation – El Salvador – made the headlines last year by becoming the first country to make bitcoin a legal form of money inside its borders. The news sparked massive disputes across the entire community as some praised the initiative, while others opined it would not bring the economic benefits that the government sought.
Earlier this week, the University of Central America (UCA) carried out a research to find out what the local residents think of the move.
The vast majority (77%) believe it was a failure, while nearly 76% admitted not using any cryptocurrencies in 2022. Commenting on the results, the UCA’s Rector Andreu Oliva described the government’s decision to embrace bitcoin as a legal tender as the “most unpopular measure, the most criticized, and the most frowned upon.”
The negative stance coming from the Salvadorans could come from the fact that bitcoin (similar to many other digital assets) has lost a significant chunk of its valuation in the past several months. It traded at around $45,000 when El Salvador embraced it as an official means of settlement and surged to almost $70K in November 2021. Currently, though, the price hovers at about $19,000.
The country has also purchased BTC on a macroeconomic level and currently holds 2,381 coins. 77% of the respondents do not support that move, saying President Bukele “should not continue to spend public money to buy bitcoin.”
Despite not agreeing on his crypto initiatives, almost 76% of the polled Salvadorans have a high opinion of their leader. In February, he proposed several reforms that could improve the locals’ well-being, including lower taxes and granting citizenship in exchange for investments.
Arguably his most considerable success so far is the war he waged on local drug cartels and criminal gangs. Since March 2022, the authorities have arrested over 53,000 people related to such organizations, thus significantly reducing the homicide rate in the region.
Bitcoin Had Certain Benefits for El Salvador
While many of the locals believe making BTC an official payment method inside the nation’s borders was not the best, the endeavor has boosted El Salvador’s tourism sector.
Earlier this year, Minister Morena Valdez said that the country became a more popular tourist destination since the BTC adoption.
“We did a poll to check the activity according to the before and after of bitcoin. The tourism sector increased in November and December. This increased by more than 30%.”
Shortly after, Nayib Bukele’s administration established a massive veterinary hospital built with bitcoin profits. The facility, named Chivo Pets, is open 24/7 and has operating rooms, rehabilitation, quarantine rooms, and other medical features.