The Central American country of El Salvador is currently facing crypto-related issues after its citizens complained about fraudulent transactions in their government-issued Chivo wallets. In recent days, some Salvadorans have complained that Bitcoin tokens in their Chivo wallets are going missing mysteriously. In September, El Salvador became the first country ever to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. Since then, Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele has been boasting about his country’s economic progress on social networking platforms. Presently, however, complaints about missing Bitcoin tokens Chivo wallets have made their way on Twitter.
People have been bombarding Twitter (in Spanish) with screenshots to make their case. Several Salvadorans are reaching out to the government as well as Chivo wallet authorities for assistance, demanding answers and help.
Señores de @chivowallet acabo de revisar mi estado de cuenta y tengo dos transacciones una de $800 y una de $700 con fecha del día de ayer que YO NO realize!!! Quiero mis $1,500 dolares de nuevo por favor!
— Gaby Rodriguez-Trippconey :us::flag-sv: (@gabsojitosverde) December 18, 2021
Salvadorans, in their tweets, have alleged that “unauthorised transactions” cost them their Bitcoin tokens.
“Nobody responds to complaints that people make,” a user who claimed to be from El Salvador and did not wish to be named over fears of repercussion told Gadgets 360.
The person also shared a spreadsheet with Gadgets 360 that has links to tweets of other user complaints. Some of the tweets contain screenshots of transactions on the Chivo wallets that users claim are of unauthorised charges and failed transactions.
Backed by the El Salvador government, Chivo wallets were created to facilitate transactions in USD as well as Bitcoins from anywhere around the world. Bitso, a Mexican cryptocurrency exchange, has been serving as Chivo’s key service provider. As per Bukele, over two million Salvadorans use the Chivo wallet.
A report by Tom’s Hardware estimates that Bitcoins worth around $16,000 (roughly Rs. 12 lakh) have disappeared from Chivo wallets in El Salvador. On the other hand, another Twitter thread claims that Bitcoins worth $120,000 (roughly Rs. 90 lakh) have disappeared.
Vaya… El asunto está así: entre el hilo de @_elcomisionado_ y otros tweets donde la gente ha reportado cuanto dinero ha perdido/retenido en Chivo. Solo con sumar las cantidades en línea *reportadas* estimamos + de $120,000 USD que @chivowallet no se hace reponsable.
— :fire: mxgxw *Señor del Caos* (γ) :fire: (@mxgxw_gamma) December 28, 2021
As of now, there has been no official statement about this development from the authorities of the country. The Twitter account of the Chivo wallet also shows no activity after November 2.
Amid this chaos, anti-Bitcoin sentiment seems to be heating up in El Salvador.
According to CryptoWhale, there has been a reduction of 89 percent in Bitcoin transactions in El Salvador since it was made legal tender.
#Bitcoin transactions in El Salvador have plunged over 89% since they made it legal tender.
People don’t want to use some outdated tech that has high fees, and slow transaction times.
It’s time El Salvador ditches Bitcoin and opts for something with real utility.
— Mr. Whale (@CryptoWhale) December 27, 2021
President Bukele’s approach, however, remains pro-crypto.
In November, for instance, Bukele revealed his plans of building a Bitcoin City at the base of the Conchagua volcano, in order to power Bitcoin mining with renewable energy and tackle the carbon footprint issue associated with the process.
The country now has close to 1,500 Bitcoins in its reserve, which adds up to $76,417,935 (roughly Rs. 571 crore). Presently, Bitcoin is trading at around $50,973 (roughly Rs. 38 lakh) on international exchanges like CoinMarketCap.