El Salvador has failed to garner local interest in Bitcoin: Study

According to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), at least 60% of Salvadorans have not downloaded the government-promoted Chivo Wallet which facilitates bitcoin transactions. Since September 2021 not a single download has been recorded for the Chivo Wallet app.

The study by NBER suggests that local Salvadorans remain either hostile or unwilling towards Bitcoin and embrace it as a payment option. More than 68% of the Salvadoran population is aware of the existence of the Chivo wallet, however, only 40% have downloaded it. Almost a record number of downloads occurred in September only when President Bukulele announced Bitcoin as a legal tender.

The bureau estimates that without the $30 incentive in BTC at the time of sign-up, people wouldn’t have downloaded the application at all. However, it also argued that the legal tender status of Bitcoin had some benefits, despite being largely unpopular among Salvadorans.

“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.”

Bitcoin adoption has brought little but some attention and benefits to the Central American country. For example, Google searches were at an all-time high for content related to El Salvador. The legal tender status has also brought in tourists and as per Morena Valdez, El Salvador’s Minister of Tourism it has increased by a good 30%.

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