Adults In El Salvador Get $30 In Crypto Ahead Of Bitcoin Legalization

El Salvador, bitcoin, legal tender, Athena Bitcoin, ATMs

With its sights set on making bitcoin legal tender, El Salvador has gifted adults in the country $30 (£21.60) in the cryptocurrency as it moves to get the program off the ground, Yahoo! Finance reported.

El Salvador anticipates having bitcoin in place as a form of money by Sept. 7, according to the article.

Since the country announced plans earlier this month to make bitcoin a legal tender parallel to the U.S. dollar, the crypto’s value increased for three days in a row and was up 3.8 percent on Friday (June 25) to $34,157, which is a little more than 45 percent below its April peak of $63,000.

The boost had a ripple effect for other cryptocurrencies, with most increasing between 2 percent and 17 percent during the same 24-hour time frame, Yahoo! Finance reported, citing CoinDesk data. Dogecoin, the darling of Elon Musk, was up 13 percent. 

El Salvador also has plans in place with Athena Bitcoin to install 1,500 new cash-to-crypto ATMs. Athena Bitcoin operates bitcoin ATM terminals across the Americas. 

The country had solicited assistance from the World Bank in launching its bitcoin plans, but was turned down last week over transparency issues and the environmental impact of bitcoin mining. The coin also is being met with backlash from China as the country moved to shut down mining operations.

Environmental concerns regarding bitcoin mining is the main reason Musk gave for abandoning support for the most valuable cryptocurrency worldwide. Bitcoin mining, which requires a lot of power for computer processing, reportedly uses more energy than the total used by small countries.

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele also recently teamed up with the digital wallet firm Strike to start the development of bitcoin-enabled infrastructure. The U.S. dollar is the country’s official currency after ditching the El Salvadoran colón, which was in use until 2001. Bitcoin is not attached or pegged to any underlying assets.