Bitso, the largest and fastest-growing cryptocurrency platform in Latin America with over 2.75 million users, announced it will be the core crypto-service provider for Chivo, the Bitcoin wallet developed by the government of El Salvador. Effective today, Bitcoin will become legal tender in El Salvador, allowing businesses to accept the cryptocurrency as a form of payment. Bitso will work with Silvergate Bank, a U.S. federally regulated and California-state chartered bank, to facilitate transactions in U.S. dollars.
“We’re excited to work with El Salvador in what is an unprecedented opportunity to provide its citizens with universal access to Bitcoin,” said Santiago Alvarado, VP of Bitso for Business. “At Bitso, we believe that this transformative technology will have a positive impact on the lives of millions of Salvadorans. Over the last seven years, we have worked tirelessly to identify the best approach to make Bitcoin accessible to more than 2.75 million customers across Mexico, Argentina and Brazil. Today, as the leading crypto-service provider for El Salvador’s wallet, we are committed to making crypto useful for Salvadorans.”
The Chivo wallet enables payments in bitcoin or dollars between individuals and businesses from anywhere in the world. Users can automatically convert Bitcoin transactions into dollars or opt to retain their Bitcoin and later withdraw it in cash at the recently installed ATMs in the region. Intended to serve as an everyday wallet, like a mobile payments system app, the use of the Chivo wallet is completely optional, and those without citizenship will be able to access the app as well.
“We are looking forward to working with El Salvador in an initiative that will transform payment structures and increase financial inclusion in the country,” added Alvarado. “As the leading crypto exchange in the region, we are thrilled to bring our experience in remittances and in secure and low-friction financial services to Salvadorans.”
As it currently stands, 70 percent of Salvadorans lack adequate access to basic financial services, and many are heavily reliant on income from remittances. In most cases, the costs associated with sending remittances through traditional means are excessively high, with direct costs falling upon senders and recipients. In light of this issue, Bitso has built crypto-backed solutions that provide remittance recipients more opportunities for saving and investing in local economies. Bitso’s services accounted for the processing of more than $1.2 billion dollars worth of remittances between the U.S. and Mexico during 2020. Bitso is now ready to apply this expertise to El Salvador.
“Bitso continues to grow in Central and South America and this engagement is a further recognition of their ability and expertise,” said Alberto Isola, Minister for Digital and Financial Service for HM Government of Gibraltar. “As a regulated Gibraltar DLT license holder, I am pleased to congratulate them on this development and their commitment in reaffirming the importance of regulation in this new industry.”
Starting today, Bitso’s role as the core crypto-service provider goes into effect as the Chivo wallet app is now available on both Android and iOS. For more information about Bitso’s product offerings please visit: https://bitso.com
About Bitso Bitso is the leading Latin American crypto first platform with a community of over 2.75 million users. The company offers three main products: the Bitso App for new or experienced cryptocurrency users to buy, sell, send, or receive crypto in a simple and intuitive way; Bitso Alpha, a professional-grade crypto trading platform; and Bitso Business, a suite of cross-border products that enables businesses to thrive in a global digital economy. Bitso is one of the few crypto exchanges, and the only one in Latin America, to obtain a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) license from the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC), a sovereign agency that has developed one of the most advanced frameworks for regulating cryptocurrency trading. Bitso is also the first and only exchange in Latin America to insure its users’ funds. Founded in 2014, with over 400 employees across 30 different countries, Bitso is working to make crypto useful by liberating the world from traditional financial players and redefining money. To learn more about Bitso, visit bitso.com