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El Salvador: Companies that do not accept Bitcoin may be sued; McDonald’s and Starbucks already accept

Last Tuesday (7), Bitcoin became legal tender in El Salvador in an unprecedented way despite protests from Salvadorans.

El Salvador: Companies that do not accept Bitcoin may be sued; McDonald's and Starbucks already accept

El Salvador: Companies that do not accept Bitcoin may be sued; McDonald’s and Starbucks already accept

Now, the country’s companies will be forced to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment, although President Nayib Bukele has repeatedly assured that adoption would be optional.

This information was confirmed by the President’s legal advisor, Javier Argueta. In an interview with a local broadcaster, he noted that companies will need to download the government’s digital wallet, Chivo, to transact Bitcoin.

Otherwise, companies are exposed to referrals of violations of the Consumer Protection Law.

“If you have the electronic wallet, you must accept the transaction. The ‘must’ is the obligation of the transaction. You must have the electronic wallet. What is mandatory is the transaction”, said Argueta.

As Argueta explained, the state’s Chivo Wallet is free and its costs are negligible.

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The advisor also clarified that, when making a transaction, the entrepreneur can decide whether to receive payment in Bitcoin or dollars.

“If I buy 1,000 shirts from you it will cost $200. I’ll pay you in Bitcoin. You have the wallet. But in the transaction, when you do, you can choose to receive Bitcoin or dollars. That’s why it’s voluntary”, he tried to explain.

Also according to Argueta, all companies are required to operate in Bitcoin. And, although neither Ley Bitcoin nor the regulation clearly establish this, if the company does not accept it, it is exposed to referrals of violations of the Consumer Protection Law.

“In terms of the sanctioning law, the law does not bring anything. But it refers, for example, to a normative integration, in a figure called blank penal rules, where it makes referrals of violations of the Consumer Protection Law…”

Some of the largest commercial establishments in the world operating in El Salvador are already accepting Bitcoin via QR Code. This is the case with McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Starbucks.

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