A Fifth of Businesses in El Salvador Now Accept Bitcoin, Study Says
Months after bitcoin (BTC) became legal tender in El Salvador, a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) shows that 20% of companies have started accepting BTC as a payment method.
The study, interviewing adults from 1,800 families in El Salvador, aimed to measure the adoption of BTC in the country after the passage of the Bitcoin Act. Researchers have found that BTC is gaining ground compared to other payment methods.
According to the report, users who downloaded the government-backed Chivo Wallet “decreased cash usage by 10%, while net debit card usage was reduced by 11%.”
Furthermore, as El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law requires economic agents to accept BTC, the study also questioned survey participants who identified themselves as business owners and employees familiar with the company’s payment methods.
Within this demographic, 20% stated that their company or workplace accepts BTC, while only 25% accept credit and debit cards. Furthermore, the study noted that “11.4% of companies have positive Bitcoin sales.”
The researchers also found that 71% of BTC sales are mostly converted to dollars and then withdrawn. In addition, 17% of sales are converted into dollars and held in the Chivo portfolio. Meanwhile, 12% kept their BTC within the Chivo app.
After the Bitcoin Law was enacted, an Italian couple tried to roam around El Salvador for 45 days using only BTC as a means of payment. The couple discovered that many places like McDonald’s and Starbucks already accept Bitcoin. However, they also faced vendors who were unfamiliar with cryptocurrency.