KEY POINTS

  • The study notes that locals haven't embraced BTC yet 
  • Overall, BTC adoption has had an impact on El Salvador
  • Global searches for El Salvador have increased after BTC adoption

Even as El Salvador has progressed immensely with Bitcoin adoption, the locals there have not adopted the trend yet, a new study has shown. 

According to American non-profit organization National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), 60% of EL Salvadorans have not downloaded the Chivo Wallet, a feature that facilitates Bitcoin transactions.

Further, the report noted that there have been almost no downloads since September 2021, when the country became the first nation to adopt the asset as legal tender.

The study also revealed that most locals remain rather negative towards the Bitcoin adoption. The research said that 68% of the locals are aware of the existence of Chivo Wallet, but only 40% have downloaded it.

“While most respondents spent their $30 bonus, less than half of those who downloaded Chivo Wallet continued to use it after spending the bonus – 20% of all respondents. Furthermore, most users who used Chivo after spending the $30 bonus do not engage with the app intensively,” the organization said.

However, the NBER argued that adopting Bitcoin as legal tender had a positive impact on the country as a whole. “Overall, despite the legal tender status of bitcoin and the large incentives implemented by the government, the cryptocurrency is largely not an accepted medium of exchange in El Salvador.”

Shortly after the decision, the global Google searches with the name of the small Central American country surged to a new yearly high.

Earlier this month, El Salvador’s Minister of Tourism, Morena Valdez, noted the country's tourism has greatly benefited from the introduction of Bitcoin as legal tender in the country as tourists interested in the cryptocurrency are having longer stays and larger expenses in the country.