El Salvador Users Complain of Bitcoins Missing From Their Chivo Wallets, Stir Anti-Crypto Sentiment

Salvadorans allege that they are losing Bitcoin tokens saved on their government-issued Chivo wallets in unauthorised transactions.

El Salvador Users Complain of Bitcoins Missing From Their Chivo Wallets, Stir Anti-Crypto Sentiment

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Bitcoin is the oldest cryptocurrency in the world, first minted back in 2009

  • Government reaction to the Bitcoin missing case remains awaited
  • Exact amount of the disappeared Bitcoins remain unknown
  • An 89 percent reduction in Bitcoin transactions has been reported

The Central American country of El Salvador is currently facing crypto-related issues after its citizens complained about fraudulent transactions in their government-issued Chivo wallets. In recent days, some Salvadorans have complained that Bitcoin tokens in their Chivo wallets are going missing mysteriously. In September, El Salvador became the first country ever to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. Since then, Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele has been boasting about his country's economic progress on social networking platforms. Presently, however, complaints about missing Bitcoin tokens Chivo wallets have made their way on Twitter.

People have been bombarding Twitter (in Spanish) with screenshots to make their case. Several Salvadorans are reaching out to the government as well as Chivo wallet authorities for assistance, demanding answers and help.

Salvadorans, in their tweets, have alleged that “unauthorised transactions” cost them their Bitcoin tokens.

“Nobody responds to complaints that people make,” a user who claimed to be from El Salvador and did not wish to be named over fears of repercussion told Gadgets 360.

The person also shared a spreadsheet with Gadgets 360 that has links to tweets of other user complaints. Some of the tweets contain screenshots of transactions on the Chivo wallets that users claim are of unauthorised charges and failed transactions.

Backed by the El Salvador government, Chivo wallets were created to facilitate transactions in USD as well as Bitcoins from anywhere around the world. Bitso, a Mexican cryptocurrency exchange, has been serving as Chivo's key service provider. As per Bukele, over two million Salvadorans use the Chivo wallet.

A report by Tom's Hardware estimates that Bitcoins worth around $16,000 (roughly Rs. 12 lakh) have disappeared from Chivo wallets in El Salvador. On the other hand, another Twitter thread claims that Bitcoins worth $120,000 (roughly Rs. 90 lakh) have disappeared.

As of now, there has been no official statement about this development from the authorities of the country. The Twitter account of the Chivo wallet also shows no activity after November 2.

Amid this chaos, anti-Bitcoin sentiment seems to be heating up in El Salvador.

According to CryptoWhale, there has been a reduction of 89 percent in Bitcoin transactions in El Salvador since it was made legal tender.

President Bukele's approach, however, remains pro-crypto.

In November, for instance, Bukele revealed his plans of building a Bitcoin City at the base of the Conchagua volcano, in order to power Bitcoin mining with renewable energy and tackle the carbon footprint issue associated with the process.

The country now has close to 1,500 Bitcoins in its reserve, which adds up to $76,417,935 (roughly Rs. 571 crore). Presently, Bitcoin is trading at around $50,973 (roughly Rs. 38 lakh) on international exchanges like CoinMarketCap.

Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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Radhika Parashar
Radhika Parashar is a senior correspondent for Gadgets 360. She has been reporting on tech and telecom for the last three years now and will be focussing on writing about all things crypto. Besides this, she is a major sitcom nerd and often replies in Chandler Bing and Michael Scott references. For tips or queries you could reach out to her at RadhikaP@ndtv.com. More
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