El Salvador Struggles to Spark BTC Adoption Despite Efforts

Despite legalizing Bitcoin, El Salvador grapples with low adoption rates, highlighting challenges in embracing cryptocurrency among its population.

El Salvadorian woman holding up anti-Bitcoin and anti-Bukele signs as a storm is approaching.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin
  • El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender has encountered unexpected hurdles.
  • An analysis between El Salvador and China has revealed stark differences in crypto ownership rates.
  • A citizenship-by-investment program has been unveiled in El Salvador.

In a landmark move towards a decentralized financial system, El Salvador made history in 2021 by adopting Bitcoin as a legal tender. However, despite government initiatives and promotional campaigns, the country’s adoption rate for the cryptocurrency remains surprisingly low.

El Salvador’s pioneering move to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender has not yet translated into widespread public adoption, according to a recent CoinGecko report only 1.72% of the country’s population currently holds Bitcoin.


The report, published on December 7, highlights El Salvador’s unique position as the sole nation to use crypto as legal tender actively. However, the low adoption rate suggests that the Salvadoran public has not fully embraced the digital currency.

Data from Triple-A indicates that only 109,175 Salvadorans own Bitcoin out of a total population of 6.36 million. This translates to a relatively small percentage actively engaging with crypto.

The report further reveals that El Salvador ranks 55th on the global crypto adoption index. This suggests that the country is lagging behind other nations, even those that have imposed restrictions on crypto activity.

China’s Crypto Holders Surpass El Salvador Despite Ban

Even amidst China’s ban on crypto, an estimated 4.08% of its citizens reportedly own digital assets. This contrasts sharply with the low adoption rate in El Salvador, even with the government’s endorsement of crypto.


Despite the challenges, the Salvadoran government remains committed to promoting crypto adoption. Recently, the country has launched a new citizenship-by-investment program offering residency and citizenship to individuals who invest $1 million in Bitcoin or Tether.

On the Flipside

  • The low adoption rate reflects deeper societal apprehensions and a hesitancy to transition to a digital currency-based economy fully.
  • While El Salvador’s rank in global crypto adoption may appear lower than expected, the country’s proactive steps in integrating crypto into its economy will gradually increase adoption.

Why This Matters

Despite its legal tender status, the relatively low adoption of Bitcoin in El Salvador raises pertinent questions about the challenges in integrating cryptocurrencies into everyday transactions. This situation is a crucial case study, underscoring the complexities and hurdles nations might encounter when attempting widespread crypto adoption.

To learn more about how Bitcoin serves as a pathway to acquiring citizenship in El Salvador, read here:
How Bitcoin Offers a Gateway to El Salvador Citizenship

To explore further details about El Salvador’s profitable Bitcoin investment records amid the recent rally, check this out:
El Salvador’s Bitcoin Investment Records Profit Amid Rally

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Kyle Calvert

Kyle Calvert is a cryptocurrency news reporter for DailyCoin, specializing in Ripple, stablecoins, as well as price and market analysis news. Before his current role, Kyle worked as a student researcher in the cryptocurrency industry, gaining an understanding of how digital currencies work, their potential uses, and their impact on the economy and society. He completed his Masters and Honors degrees in Blockchain Technology within Esports and Business and Event management within Esports at Staffordshire University.