El Salvador continues to invest in Bitcoin (BTC) and improve the accessibility of the most well-known cryptocurrency to its citizens.
Chivo joins the Lightning network
El Salvador, the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender, continues its progress. After encountering quite a few problems with its Chivo wallet, the government has been working hard to correct the issues encountered.
Looking for a solution to make its application more efficient and secure, the country has just contracted with the American company AlphaPoint. Based in New York, the company started working on Chivo in December. In particular, it has improved the user interface and corrected various bugs that were marring the use of the wallet.
But the real news is the integration of the Lightning Network management. This solution, called “second layer”, uses the Bitcoin network. It reduces its usage costs and improves its transaction speed.
“AlphaPoint has enhanced Lightning integration for low-cost, near-instantaneous Bitcoin transactions via QR addresses and Lightning. This is the first deployment of Lightning at this scale. The Chivo Wallet app currently supports millions of Salvadorans, many of whom are accessing financial services for the first time.”Igor Telyatnikov, co-founder and CEO of AlphaPoint
This new capability will allow for tiny, penny-sized payments. This adoption will contribute to democratize and facilitate the payment in the whole country.
1,500 additional bitcoin ATMs
In addition to the Chivo wallet upgrade, President Nayib Bukele also announced the implementation of 1,500 Bitcoin ATMs.
With the 205 ATMs already present, El Salvador will thus reach 1,700 ATMs, scattered over an area of 21,000 km².
For comparison, in December 2021, there were 1,315 ATMs scattered across Europe and Russia. France, which is about 25 times the size of El Salvador, has… 0.
The stated goal is to allow anyone, anywhere in the country, to be able to buy or sell bitcoin. By combining the ease of access to bitcoin anywhere in the country and the use of the Lightning Network, access to the currency is completely revolutionized.
In fact, the government is studying the possibility of issuing loans directly in Bitcoin, with interest rates at the lowest possible level.
“Small loans in Bitcoins will provide access to digital money for the unbanked while helping them build a credit history. El Salvador’s economy will grow stronger by empowering its small businesses.”Mónica Taher, director of international affairs for technology and the economy of El Salvador
As another Salvadoran, Henri, used to say, “The best day is tomorrow. And there is no doubt that the country has many good days ahead.
El Salvador has not finished making a name for itself, and this, despite the blows of the opponents of the regime or the IMF. The president continues to invest, and it is safe to assume that he will continue to do so throughout the year.