Supporters argue the move will make it cheaper and easier for migrants to send money home to El Salvador, which is important given such remittances account for over 24 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, according to figures from the World Bank reported by CNBC. There are also hopes the move could improve citizens’ access to financial services. The CEO of Strike, a digital finance company that helped with the logistics of the new law, told CNNthat over 70 percent of the country’s “active population” do not currently have a bank account.
But there are fears that the adoption of such a historically volatile currency could harm Salvadorans, and risk economic stability. Bitcoin hit a historic high of over $60,000 in April, before losing nearly half its value in a crash later in the summer. The law has contributed to rating agency Moody’s decision to downgrade El Salvador’s debt rating, according to The Financial Times, and the IMF has also warned about its potentially destabilizing effects.