News From El Salvador, Early October: The Chivo Ecosystem’s Stress Test

News From El Salvador, Early October: The Chivo Ecosystem’s Stress Test

Another month, another Bitcoin mined using volcanic power. That’s what’s happening in El Salvador, the little country that could. Plus, Moneygram alters its business. Problems and solutions with Chivo ATMs and the Chivo ecosystem as a whole. Stars in Bitcoin Beach and direct reports from the ground. This edition of our now regular news roundup comes extra charged with action and heartwarming stories, so buckle up!

The crazy thing is, the Bitcoin Law went into effect just a month ago. And all of this is happening as people from all over the world arrive in the country for the two Bitcoin conferences that it’ll host this month.

El Salvador ‘s Volcanic Bitcoin Mine Is On

  • A few days after sharing this video of the Volcanic Bitcoin mine already in action, President Bukele shows the receipts. He posted the Account Balance from “the first Bitcoin mining” done using that sweet geothermal renewable energy. The total adds up to only slightly over $500, but it means so much both for El Salvador and for Bitcoin.
  • We’re still testing and installing, but this is officially the first #Bitcoin mining from the #volcanode 🌋— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) October 1, 2021

  • If you prefer to receive your news from beautiful ladies instead of reading, these CNBC hosts have the previous story covered. They talk positively about what mining with such clean energy means for Bitcoin’s image. At the top, Michael Saylor completes the report with one of his philosophical phrases. “Bitcoin mining upgrades thermal energy into digital energy that can be exported anywhere in the world and stored without power loss.”
  • #Bitcoin mining upgrades thermal energy into digital energy that can be exported anywhere in the world and stored without power loss. https://t.co/jbghS2nfZJ— Michael Saylor⚡️ (@michael_saylor) October 1, 2021

    Moneygram Goes Crypto To Compete

  • El Salvador ‘s Technology & Economy International Affairs Advisor, Mónica Taher, has the scoop on Moneygram. The company “closed an alliance with Coinme at the beginning of this year. Remittance shipments fell by 6% in 2020 and the company expects cryptocurrencies to make its business more attractive.” Analyze her emojis and you’ll know she’s hinting that El Salvador and its volcanoes are the cause.
  • @MoneyGram cerró una alianza con @Coinme a principios de éste año. Los envíos de remesas bajaron en un 6% en 2020 y la compañía espera que las #criptomonedas hagan su negocio más atractivo. @WesternUnion también tiene alianza con https://t.co/UOVhs5zgBt#JustSaying 😃🌋 🇸🇻 pic.twitter.com/eKEQEBQip9— Mónica Taher ⚡️🇸🇻 (@monicataher) October 2, 2021

    What’s Going On With The Chivo Ecosystem?

  • President Bukele also shared the Chivo ecosystem’s dashboard with several stats. At the time, the Chivo wallet had 2.255.936 users. In the interactions below the tweet, you’ll find a lot of people complaining about system malfunctions. The Chivo ecosystem is barely surviving the stress test, but it’s surviving.
  • Some @chivowallet stats…#Bitcoin🇸🇻 pic.twitter.com/RnFqs2Zatp— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) September 27, 2021

  • Bitcoin Magazine’s Aaron van Wirdum was a victim of system malfunction. “Chivo ATM ate my bitcoin today. No cash in return, no receipt, no response from customer service.” Luckily, everything worked out in the end. “This issue was resolved over DM; I got my $40 out of the machine.” There are hiccups all over the Chivo ecosystem, but hey, the experiment went live less than a month ago.
  • Update: This issue was resolved over DM; I got my $40 out of the machine.— Aaron van Wirdum (@AaronvanW) September 26, 2021

  • Salvadoreans who pay for gas using the Chivo wallet will get a discount. In the photos, you can see the different amounts you’ll have to pay with or without Chivo. The people at Bitcoin Beach provide commentary. “Never hurts to give a little incentive to people to try doing something in a new way. Once they experience the ease of Bitcoin they will never go back.”
  • Precio normal/precio con la @chivowallet. Son $0.20 de ahorro por galón al usar esta nueva forma de pago en las gasolineras Puma y UNO. pic.twitter.com/9KX6EBBqbC— Secretaría de Comunicaciones 🇸🇻 (@ComunicacionSV) September 30, 2021

  • The people at Bitcoin Beach also inform the incoming new wave of tourists that they don’t have to visit currency exchanges at the airport. They can use the Chivo ATMs to sell their Bitcoin and extract Dollars. And they don’t even have to do that, because everybody accepts Bitcoin there.
  • The new wave of tourists coming to #ElSalvador from around the world no longer need to worry about expensive currency exchange. Even if the want to use cash as they travel instead of #BTC, they can now easily withdraw using their #Bitcoin wallet for much cheaper than bank ATMs pic.twitter.com/mNezfZVb4m— Bitcoin Beach (@Bitcoinbeach) October 3, 2021

    Chivo Reports From The Ground

    Before we go to the Bitcoin Beach news, some first-hand reporting is in order.

  • Real-life people are using Bitcoin, this pseudonymous Bitcoiner informs us. “There was a line in front of me and 3 consumers were using Chivo wallet to pay for good and services.”
  • There was a line in front of me and 3 consumers were using @chivowallet to pay for good and services. #Bitcoin is a reality in #ElSalvador We are getting used to, boy.#SOSNicaragua #BitcoinDay @Bitcoinbeach @nayibbukele @APompliano @CaitlinLong_ pic.twitter.com/wI7CXJ1pHB— Anon1moNICA (@Anon1moNICAv2) September 30, 2021

  • A returning visitor informs us that 85% of vendors in El Zonte now take Bitcoin. Also, “Locals are loving bitcoin and have different wallets on their phones.”
  • Big difference between last time I was here in June and today. I’d say about 85% of vendors in El Zonte now take #bitcoin. 1st pic is a chivo atm at the airport. Met awesome bitcoiners on this trip. Locals are loving bitcoin and have different wallets on their phones. pic.twitter.com/wJZSF54n9c— Apex ₿ ⭕️ 🕳 (@malandrox7) September 27, 2021

    Back At Bitcoin Beach: Stars

  • Surfing superstar Bethany Hamilton visited Bitcoin Beach, the Hope House and El Zonte’s waves. “So much fun!!! Loved see ALL the amazing work y’all are doing even beyond Bitcoin,” she said. But wait… is there something beyond Bitcoin?
  • So much fun!!! Loved see ALL the amazing work y’all are doing even beyond #bitcoin!!! What a blessing to your community and beyond!!! Aloha🤙🏽— Bethany Hamilton (@bethanyhamilton) October 3, 2021

  • The pastries vendor that we told you about in the previous News From El Salvador received donations from all around the world bought a new motorcycle to sell his product with.
  • After receiving donations in "Bitcoin" from all kinds of people around the world🙏🇸🇻, Jose was able to buy his own motorcycle to go out and sell the sweet bread. #Bitcoin can change the world. Now Jose goes around super happy! pic.twitter.com/0IScXko6GU— Roman Martínez🇸🇻⚡️ (chimbera) (@romanmartinezc) October 2, 2021

  • Today in Miami Beach, the Oslo Freedom Forum’s Bitcoin Academy will open its doors. Roman Martínez and the people at Bitcoin Beach were going to be present in the panel titled “Building a Bitcoin Community.”
  • 15/ Finally at 5:45pm ET @romanmartinezc, @milessuter, @Bitcoinbeach, and Luis Morales will join us for "Building a Bitcoin Community" to talk about the incredible work behind the scenes in El Zonte and discuss the nuances of what is happening in El Salvador🇸🇻 🌊— Alex Gladstein 🌋 ⚡ (@gladstein) September 29, 2021

  • Sadly, though, Roman Martínez can’t make it.
  • Due to last minute personal difficulties this past week I will not be able to go … I am sad. But I will see you in the next one 🙏.— Roman Martínez🇸🇻⚡️ (chimbera) (@romanmartinezc) October 3, 2021

  • As a consolation prize, he was featured in a Time Magazine article.
  • I think we’re walking towards a better future! 🇸🇻🇸🇻🇸🇻🇸🇻 El Salvador the place to be!!! #Bitcoin https://t.co/OunhS7pJKD @TIME @ciaraCnugent pic.twitter.com/BLzyY7m1E8— Roman Martínez🇸🇻⚡️ (chimbera) (@romanmartinezc) October 3, 2021

    That’s it for now. The El Salvador Bitcoin experiment is the story of the year, probably. Join us again in a couple of weeks to check on the development of the Chivo ecosystem and this amazing story.

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