Bitcoin digital wallet by the name of Chivo was launched by the Salvadoran government, but it has been beset with technical glitches for more than four days straight. This setback could actually end up discouraging the people in El Salvador from signing up on the app that the country’s President, Nayib Bukele, is promoting. According to the user complaints that had been posted and Facebook and Twitter and interviews with more than 10 years, there have been a number of issues that people have had to face. These include problems withdrawing money from ATMs, accessing the wallet, data verification, as well as not getting the $30 bonus that was promised by Bukele to all the users of the Chivo wallet.
The Chivo wallet was downloaded on Tuesday by 30-year-old tattoo artist Melvin Vasquez, when the bitcoin law had gone into effect. However, he hasn’t been able to use the app since then. Vasquez said that he wanted to test the app to see if he could buy anything, but it wouldn’t let him enter at all. He had attempted to purchase a pizza from a restaurant located on the outskirts of San Salvador. He said that the government should have done more preparations because it certainly wasn’t convenient for anyone.
Likewise, the user complaints were also going up in Alphabet’s Google Play Store and Apple Inc.’s App Store from where people had downloaded the app. One user said that they had downloaded the app and entered all the required data, but it wouldn’t let them log in again and refused to recognize their face ID and pin. They said that no other options were available, so it was not a good app at all. On Wednesday, Bukele stepped in for managing the rollout of the payments app that was fraught with difficulties.
This payment app underpins the adoption of Bitcoin by El Salvador as legal tender. The app has been named Chivo and promises users commission-free transactions. Bukele’s administration is hoping that the unbanked will also adopt the app. Therefore, they disconnected the app a number of times in order to repair the glitches. The President’s administration is hoping that around 39% of the population, which would make 2.5 million Salvadorans, to download the app. It has been named Chivo because this is a local world that means ‘good’. According to Bukele, using bitcoin would enable people to save around $400 million every year in the money spent on remittances.
The problem is that most of the people who send or receive dollars to El Salvador do not really trust bitcoin. Some have shared their fears of losing their money, considering the high volatility of the pioneer cryptocurrency. Bitcoin has seen daily trading moves of about 10% or more at least 10 times in this year so far, as it had done both in 2019 and 2020. As far as 2017 and 2018 are concerned, data shows that there had been 17 days each in the year when it had moved 10% or more.