With less than a week to go before El Salvador's Bitcoin Law takes effect on Sept. 7, a majority of citizens surveyed are opposed to government-mandated cryptocurrency adoption.
A survey conducted by the local Central American University's (UCA) Institute of Public Opinion has found that 70% of Salvadorans believe President Nayib Bukele's Bitcoin Law, recognizing the cryptocurrency as legal tender, should be repealed.
More than 90% of respondents also said they don't understand cryptocurrency.
The institute received a terrible public approval rating of 7.64% -- the lowest recorded during Bukele’s tenure.
El Salvador's struggling economy
The attitudes to the Bitcoin Law seem intertwined in the context of concerns about the country's poor economic performance.
According to the poll, 45% of Salvadoran citizens think poverty and unemployment are the most pressing problems facing their country. 43% of them believe that the Bitcoin Law will lead to a worsening of the nation's economic situation.
According to The World Bank, 22.8% of El Salvador's population are currently living below the poverty line, while the average annual income in the country is just $3,800. Over two-thirds (63%) of Salvadorans don't believe that the local economy can improve with an increase in the minimum wage.
A poll found that 20% of Salvadorans did not know what Bitcoin was, while 70% admitted to having a poor knowledge of cryptocurrency. The survey's researchers concluded that:
In other words, 9/10 Salvadorans don't know what this financial asset is.
The findings echo a similar poll taken in July, which found that only 20% of locals approved Bukele's forthcoming Bitcoin Law.
Bukele govt sprukes BTC
The latest poll suggests that there is a sliver or optimism in the poll. It shows that the number of people who don't understand Bitcoin has dropped to half of the July figure of 46%. This indicates that efforts by the government to raise awareness may have had some effect.
On August 30, Bukele shared the country's first state-backed Bitcoin TV advertisement to Twitter, featuring animated tutorials on how the government's "Chivo" digital wallet can be used to purchase goods and transfer value.
Bukele posted images of Bitcoin ATMs to Twitter the next day. The President claimed that 50 physical terminals would be available by Sept. 7. Bukele also stated that crypto adoption will help save $400 million annually in remittance fees.