El Salvador relaunches Chivo wallet, plans to deploy 1,500 Bitcoin ATMs
El Salvador, the first country to adopt Bitcoin (BTC) as a legal tender, has relaunched its in-house Chivo wallet to address the existing challenges of BTC transfers locally. With AlphaPoint integration, the updated Chivo wallet is expected to carry out instantaneous low-fee Bitcoin transactions while fixing concerns related to stability and scalability.
Within the first month of establishing BTC as a legal tender, President Nayib Bukele announced that Chivo wallet onboarded 2.1 million Salvadorans, which by the end of the year amasses 75% of the population. However, the mass adoption met with numerous roadblocks, including system issues and missing funds.
Seeking a permanent solution for over 4 million BTC users, the government of El Salvador partnered with a white label infrastructure provider, AlphaPoint, focusing heavily on Chivo wallet’s stability and uptime, scalability, and social impact.
According to the official statement, Chivo intends to expand its current consumer-faced use cases to other day-to-day transactions such as simplifying payments of home utilities, taxes and many other daily transactions in Bitcoin:
“The project has aspirations to Chivo is also in the process of deploying 1,500 Bitcoin ATMs around the country to more readily serve the Salvadoran population.”
The latest AlphaPoint integration will extend support for point-of-sale systems, websites and the Salvadoran government’s administrative console. In addition, the update includes improved “Lightning integration for nearly instantaneous low-fee Bitcoin transactions via QR and Lightning addresses.” AlphaPoint CEO and co-founder Igor Telyatnikov said:
“El Salvador and President Bukele are truly leading globally with this first major experiment in Bitcoin adoption at a country-wide level. We are honored to be involved in the process and provide the scalable and reliable solutions needed for this massive undertaking.”
In pursuit of exploring greater use cases for BTC, the government of El Salvador is exploring the possibility of BTC loans with lower interest rates.
As Cointelegraph reported, Mónica Taher, El Salvador’s Director of Technology and Economy International Affairs, hosted a Facebook Live event to share the agenda of providing low-interest BTC loans to small and micro-businesses. Speaking to Cointelegraph, she said:
“The Bitcoin small loans will provide access to digital money for the unbanked while helping them create a credit history. El Salvador’s economy will strengthen by empowering its small businesses.”