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Bitcoin ATM burned in El Salvador amid anti-Bukele protests

 

By Michael McDonald / Bloomberg

SAN SALVADOR
Petroleumworld 09 15 2021

Anti-government marchers in El Salvador took to the streets Wednesday, the nation’s bicentennial, to protest the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender and recent moves by President Nayib Bukele to consolidate power.

Several thousand people marched to the central plaza in the country’s capital of San Salvador, brandishing signs declaring “no to dictatorship” and “we were defrauded by Bitcoin.” The demonstrations were largely peaceful though one group smashed windows and set fire to a Bitcoin ATM kiosk installed last month ahead of the cryptocurrency’s rollout as legal tender.

El Salvador adopted Bitcoin last week and the government has proposed more than 200 changes to the constitution including eliminating a ban on presidential re-election.

“Bitcoin was a very big economic decision, and it was done totally illogically, sent to congress and passed the same day,” opposition lawmaker Claudia Ortiz said in an interview, adding it was unclear who was behind the vandalism. “We are going through a profound fiscal crisis with high cost of living and unemployment and the government’s response, instead of serious economic policy, is to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender


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