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President of El Salvador Nayib Bukele. Source: Bloomberg.
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  • More than three quarters of Salvadorans have said they’re sceptical of President Nayib Bukele’s push to make bitcoin a parallel legal tender
  • In a world-first, El Salvador’s Congress passed legislation last month giving the digital asset official status as a currency
  • Conducted by Disruptiva, the survey of 1233 people showed roughly 54 per cent viewed the adoption of bitcoin as “not at all correct”
  • Another 24 per cent described it as “only a little correct” while just under 20 per cent supported the plan

In a snub to El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele, more than three quarters of Salvadorans have said they’re sceptical of the leader’s push to make bitcoin a parallel legal tender.

Last month, Bukele’s allies in Congress passed legislation giving the digital asset official status as a currency in the small Central American nation — a move no other country has yet taken.

“It will bring financial inclusion, investment, tourism, innovation and economic development for our country,” Bukele said in a tweet.

For years, El Salvador has used the US dollar as its national currency, but Bukele has spruiked bitcoin as a way to facilitate remittance payments for those living abroad.

According to the new laws, bitcoin must be accepted by businesses when offered as payment for goods and services. Tax contributions can also be paid.

Conducted by Disruptive, an affiliate of Francisco Gavidia University, the survey of 1233 people showed roughly 54 per cent viewed the adoption of bitcoin as “not at all correct” while another 24 per cent described it as “only a little correct.” Just under 20 per cent supported the plan.

“This is a risky bet on digital transformation,” said Oscar Picardo, head of Disruptiva’s institute of science, technology and innovation.

The poll also showed that 46 per cent of respondents knew “nothing” about bitcoin, while almost 65 per cent said they would not be open to being paid in the cryptocurrency.

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