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Bukele 'Has Not Responded' to Claims of Bitcoin Vanishing From Citizens' Wallets: Report

In the latest in a long line of problems plaguing El Salvador’s Bitcoin embrace, locals are reporting that their Bitcoin is vanishing from their accounts.

2 min read
El Salvador's President, Nayib Bukele. Credit: Presidencia de la República de El Salvador.

Salvadorans are inexplicably losing their Bitcoin from their Chivo wallets, according to a Twitter user tweeting under the pseudonym El Comisonado, and per The New Scientist

According to The New Scientist,  El Comisionado has collected over 50 examples of Bitcoin inexplicably going missing from Salvadoran Chivo wallets. 

“The government has not responded, nor does it acknowledge the errors,” he told The New Scientist

“It’s one of the things people are demanding, that they respond to their complaints. Many have waited several months for a response to get the money back,” he added. 

According to The New Scientist, Zaira Navas—a member of the El Salvador National Civil Police—and Rogzy—a Bitcoin commentator—have experienced similar issues. 

“I don’t think Chivo is secure and no one can verify it since the code is not open source,” Rogzy said. “Today very few people use Chivo, because many do not know how it works,” El Comisionado reportedly added. 

This is, of course, not the first Bitcoin-stumbling block encountered by President Bukele in his quest to embrace crypto.

El Salvador’s Bitcoin journey

President Bukele first announced that El Salvador would accept the leading cryptocurrency as legal tender in May when he broke the news to a roaring Bitcoin maximalist crowd in Miami’s 2021 Bitcoin Conference. 

Since then, his policy has been mired with controversy. Citizens have taken to the streets time after time after time, protesting Bukele’s draconian Bitcoin law

Some of the world’s biggest financial institutions, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, have also criticized Bukele’s Bitcoin policy. 

It is well documented that Bukele has an authoritarian streak, and while that may have preceded El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law, it has featured ever since the president became a Bitcoin maximalist. 

Outspoken critic, Mario Gomez, was arrested without a warrant earlier this year after he criticized the government’s policy. 

Two Salvadoran business people spoke to Decrypt (on the condition of anonymity) shortly after Gomez was arrested. 

“The police doesn’t have to take anyone to court. They just scare one of the vocal dissidents with kidnapping him a couple of hours or a couple of days,” one said. 

“It crushes my soul to see Bitcoin maximalists around the world cheering this when, if they actually sat down and read the law and regulations, it is completely opposite to everything they preach,” the other told Decrypt. 

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