Many businesses in San Salvador adapt to the use of cryptocurrency. Karen Hernández sells cell phone accessories in San Salvador to customers who often pay in Bitcoin. She assures that she has brought her many benefits and does not want them to remove the cryptocurrency as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) claims.
“It has been a very, very nice to experience and use of bitcoin and it has also increased our sales. I has taken us to another level of commerce” — Hernández, 45, said in an interview.
Karen owns a small cell phone store in the historic center of San Salvador, where hand-made stickers and signs announce: “we accept bitcoin” through the use of the Chivo wallet. The Chivo wallet is the government’s digital wallet created for bitcoin transactions that has been legal tender since September 7, 2021.
Every day thousands of Salvadorans circulate on foot in the crowded streets of the capital, where restaurants, hardware stores, pharmacies and even many informal businesses announce that they accept payments in cryptocurrency.
Located in an old building in the capital is Elizabeth Arévalo, 25, who works as a clerk in a computer supply store and daily instructs customers how to use the Chivo wallet so they can buy at her store.
Two Chivo ATMs operate in the center of San Salvador, with security around them due to the presence of police officers. There is a constant flow of users who come to carry out a transaction or to consult one of the Chivo Wallet advisors who remain on site.
“Sales have increased since we accepted bitcoin, and at least here in the business we do not agree that the use of bitcoin be removed, we are already used to using it and it is a payment option” — Elizabeth said.
For merchants like Elizabeth, ditching bitcoin is not an option.
Running from one place to another in his business selling technology products and perfumes in the center of the capital, Juan Carlos Pérez, 40, says that personally he uses bitcoin and that he is accepted with the cryptocurrency.