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Bitcoin tumbles 11% after El Salvador’s adoption of the crypto as legal tender

September 7, 2021, 3:58 PM UTC

El Salvador’s decision to be the first world economy to make Bitcoin legal tender isn’t helping the cryptocurrency’s value.

Bitcoin was down 11% in midmorning trading Tuesday, marking a precipitous fall since Monday evening. The price of Bitcoin tumbled from over $52,000 to less than $46,000, according to CoinDesk. At one point, it fell to $43,351.

The market seems to have already priced in all of the upside of the digital currency achieving legal tender status, since El Salvador passed the law paving the way for the move on June 9. Some investors could be selling off as the country bought 400 Bitcoins Tuesday as it preloads government-run Bitcoin wallets for citizens called Chivo.

The rollout hasn’t gone smoothly, though. El Salvador’s government disconnected the Chivo wallet earlier to correct technical glitches. Officials said they are running tests to make it available for download later in the day. 

As of 3:00 p.m. ET today, businesses in El Salvador are required to accept Bitcoin for goods and services, though those with technological hinderances are exempt. Bitcoin ATMs have been installed around the country.

The law puts Bitcoin on the global stage in a new way, giving the crypto a legitimacy some proponents have been anticipating for years. It’s not without opponents, though. The International Monetary Fund, in June, said the move raises several issues, ranging from financial to legal. JPMorgan has also noted that the country’s economy could face headwinds because of the move.

El Salvador’s infrastructure has also raised questions about the long-term impact of the law. Internet and smartphone access in the country is not on the same level as many other countries, which could slow Bitcoin’s rollout.

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