El Salvador, the first country to embrace Bitcoin as legal tender, has seen a significant shift in sentiment regarding its adoption, according to a recent survey conducted by José Simeón Cañas Central American University. While the country has made positive strides in its financial outlook, the survey indicates a mixed response to the correlation between Bitcoin adoption and personal well-being.

Key Findings from the Survey:

Reduced Bitcoin Usage: In 2023, only 12% of the local population in El Salvador reported using Bitcoin at least once for payments, a substantial decrease from 24.4% in 2022. This decline raises questions about the sustainability of Bitcoin as an everyday payment method.

Frequency of Usage Varies: Among those who used Bitcoin for transactions, nearly half (49.7%) did so only one to three times, while 20% made ten or more transactions. This indicates a difference in the frequency of crypto usage among users.

Diverse Use Cases: Groceries (22.9%) and supermarkets (20.9%) were the top categories for Bitcoin transactions. Surprisingly, 15% of respondents used Bitcoin for transactions at veterinary clinics, highlighting its varied adoption across businesses.

Mixed Impact on Well-Being: The survey found that 6.8% of respondents believed their family’s life had improved since Bitcoin became legal tender, up from 3% in 2022. However, the majority (93.2%) did not attribute any improvements in their lives to Bitcoin usage.

Economic Perception: There was a disconnect between Bitcoin use and perceptions of El Salvador’s overall economic situation. Only 0.5% believed Bitcoin played a role in the country’s economic improvement, while 34.3% attributed it to a decline in crime rates.

El Salvador’s Advancements: Despite mixed sentiments, El Salvador has made significant advancements since adopting Bitcoin. The country’s Bitcoin portfolio turned profitable, reaching $42,000 in December 2023. Additionally, initiatives like the “Adopting El Salvador Freedom Visa Program” and Bitcoin-backed bonds, known as Volcano Bonds, have been introduced.

In summary, El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption has faced mixed sentiments among its citizens, with varying levels of usage and perceptions of its impact on well-being and the economy. Despite challenges, the country continues to advance its crypto-related initiatives.

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