Mexican crypto exchange Bitso announced that it will be the main service provider for El Salvador’s bitcoin wallet. The news came on September 7th, when the Central American country officially adopted bitcoin as legal tender.
In collaboration with the Chivo wallet, built by the Salvadoran government , Bitso will allow its users to make worldwide payments with bitcoin or with U.S. dollars between people and entities.
Bitso detailed that its users can opt for the automatic conversion of bitcoin to dollars. The alternative is for the user to keep their bitcoins and get them through the thousands of ATMs that have been installed in the country.
After the Bitcoin Law was passed last June, El Salvador expects that the use of bitcoin will increase its population’s access to financial services.
According to the World Bank’s Global Index, in 2019 only 36% of Salvadoran adults had a savings account. El Salvador’s Central Bank also estimates that about 23% of the country’s GDP comes from remittances, mostly of which are sent from the 2 million Salvadoran immigrants that live and work in the U.S.
On a Twitter post, Bitso emphasized its commitment to El Salvador’s vision and with the own company’s mission of making crypto useful, well beyond just being investment vehicles.
Although the population of El Salvador will not be obliged to use Bitcoin in all their financial transactions, the country’s commercial entities are enforced to accept the cryptocurrency.
The crypto experiment in El Salvador, championed by young president Nayib Bukele, is being watched by crypto skeptics and enthusiasts worldwide.
Known as an online exchange platform, Bitso operates in Mexico since 2014. It also has presence in Argentina and Brasil. It has more than 2.7 million registered users, which are expected to increase after the company’s arrival to El Salvador.
The Mexican startup became a unicorn a few months ago after it announced a $250 million Series C investment. It is currently valued at $2.2 billion.
To achieve its mission to become the leader of the crypto adoption in Central and Latin America, Bitso has also announced several key changes on its leadership team.
A few weeks ago, Vaughan Smith was named Bitso’s new COO. Smith is Facebook’s former VP of Corporate and Business Development. Daniel Mangabeira was also recently announced as the company’s new Head of Public Policy for the region. The executive led Uber’s regulatory negotiations when it launched in Brasil and Mexico.