El Salvador’s Bitcoin wallet Chivo scores $52M in remittances in 2022

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According to the El Salvador Central Reserve Bank, Salvadorans living abroad sent more than $50 million in remittances from January to May this year.

El Salvador central bank president Douglas Rodriguez unpacked the general economic outlook for the country on a local television news program. fronte a fronte on Wednesday.

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A major takeaway was the $52 million remittances processed by national digital wallet service Chivo during the first five months of the year. This represents an increase of 3.9%, $118 million in value compared to the same period in 2021.

Chivo was launched in September 2021 as the Central American country became the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender. The app’s launch reportedly attracted more than 2 million users in less than a month, causing major initial problems for the state-backed payments platform.

The government-sanctioned payment service provider was relaunched in February this year, necessitated by the onboarding of an estimated 4 million users who wanted to use the lower fees for payments and transfers made in BTC. American cryptocurrency exchange software firm AlphaPoint came onboard to address the scaling and stability issues.

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Chivo offers users commission-free transfers and payments in BTC and US Dollars. El Salvador president and bitcoin proponent Nayib Bukele has previously claimed that the app will save citizens nearly $400 million in annual commissions spent using traditional remittance and payment service providers in the country.

The application also uses the Lightning Network, a bitcoin layer-2 payment protocol, which provides low-fee BTC transactions. The adoption of Bitcoin and Chivo in El Salvador has had a measurable effect on the growth in Lightning Network transaction volume – a 400% increase in payment volume over the past year.