According to a recent survey conducted by the Universidad Centroamericana “José Simeón Cañas” in El Salvador, in the year 2023, only 12 percent of the population had used Bitcoin for a purchase at least once. The survey, conducted in December, involved 1,280 respondents. A year ago, that figure stood at 24 percent of the population.

Interestingly, nearly half of those surveyed who had made a purchase with Bitcoin did so only one to three times (49.7 percent), while only 20 percent used BTC ten times or more. The most common uses for Bitcoin were for purchasing food (22.9 percent), supermarket payments (20.9 percent), and veterinary services (15 percent).

However, 6.8 percent of respondents did acknowledge an improvement in their family’s living standards since Bitcoin was introduced as legal tender. In 2022, this figure was only 3 percent. Nonetheless, very few attributed this economic improvement directly to Bitcoin.

Even among the optimists who recognized an improvement in the country’s economic situation, only 0.5 percent believed that Bitcoin was the main cause. In contrast, 25.3 percent saw a decrease in crime as the decisive factor, and 19.8 percent pointed to the controversial president and his government.

It’s worth noting that the 45-page survey did not include direct questions about the Salvadoran government’s Bitcoin investments. However, according to the “Nayib Bukele Portfolio Tracker,” the government’s Bitcoin portfolio had a return of 0.16 percent at the time of writing this article (January 18, 2024, 14:45 CEST).

So far, there is little evidence of widespread adoption of Bitcoin among the general population in El Salvador. It appears that tourists and digital nomads from Western countries are the primary enthusiasts of Bitcoin in the country. Nevertheless, President Bukele’s gamble might pay off if the bull market gains momentum in 2024.

In this quarter, El Salvador plans to issue the world’s first Bitcoin-backed government bonds. The government aims to raise no less than one billion U.S. dollars and is offering investors a 6.5 percent interest rate for a ten-year term.

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