El Salvador's announcement in June that Bitcoin would be accepted as legal cash alongside the US dollar was welcomed with both enthusiasm and scepticism. Many people were sceptical of the government's claim that Bitcoin would promote financial inclusion and development.
They waited three months to observe how the concept developed and the Central American country implemented it. Above all, there would be widespread support for such a daring step, which dominated the initial reaction.
When the judgement took effect on September 8, all eyes were on figuring out how the world's largest cryptocurrency will react.
The initial launch was plagued by technical difficulties. Chivo, the government of El Salvador's wallet, was not available in several app stores. The government was compelled to temporarily halt the app due to the large number of users who registered on it, forcing them to expand servers and enhance capacity. All of these glitches had an impact on the price of Bitcoin.
The crypto coin plunged significantly from its peak of $52,000 (Rs 38 lakh) to $44,000 (Rs 32 lakh) in less than 24 hours on September 7-8, losing more than 15%, according to CoinMarketCap. Since then, it has remained stable at roughly $46,000. (Rs 32.37 lakh).
While the recent surge in Bitcoin's value has been related to news from El Salvador, the enthusiasm appears to have given way to the reality of the disruption it may create, at least for the time being.
Still, the price of Bitcoin hasn't fluctuated much since April-May, when it plummeted below $30,000 (Rs 22 lakh) in a major drop shortly after reaching its all-time high of $65,000. (Rs 47.81 lakh).
El Salvador's law mandates businesses to accept Bitcoin as payment for goods and services wherever possible. Merchants who are unable to accept the virtual currency due to technological limitations are exempt. Over 200 "Bitcoin ATMs" have been deployed across the country by the government.
It has purchased 400 Bitcoins valued roughly $20 million (Rs 147 crore) and is giving out $30 (Rs 2,207) in Bitcoin to El Salvadorans who sign up for the Chivo wallet.
After learning from El Salvador's experience, many people are expecting more countries to fall into line and adopt Bitcoin.
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