Only 12% of Salvadorans Used Bitcoin in 2023: Iudop-UCA Survey.

By Karla Ramos  |  Jan 15th, 2024
San Salvador El SalvadorTraffic in San Salvador, El Salvador capital city.

Only 12% of Salvadorans surveyed in the latest Iudop-UCA Survey stated that they had used Bitcoin for paying or buying something in 2023. 85% responded that they hadn’t used it during the year, and the remaining 3% said they never used Bitcoin.

The Iudop-UCA survey “evaluating the year 2023,” which included questions about Bitcoin usage and effects on the economy, was released on January 10.

When asked, “During the year 2023, with Bitcoin as legal tender, do you think your family economy has improved, worsened, or remained the same?”

Of the respondents, 77.8% stated that it has remained the same, 8.4% that it has worsened, and only 6.8% reported an improvement. The remaining 7% chose not to respond.

Omar Serrano, vice-rector of Social Projection of the UCA, stated that: “Once again it is confirmed that bitcoin is the main economic failure. 62 out of every 100 Salvadorans believe that the economy has not benefited; on the contrary, a percentage believes that it has worsened.”

The Iudop-UCA survey was conducted from December 9 to 22; it included 1,280 people from across the country. According to the institution, the survey has a margin of error of 2.7%.

In September 2021, at the initiative of President Nayib Bukele, El Salvador became the first country in the world to legally put Bitcoin as a legal tender.

Bitcoin and Remittances

One of the principal things the Bukele administration wanted is for Salvadorans abroad to send remittances to the country via Bitcoin; however, according to data published by the Central Reserve Bank (BCR), the use of digital cryptocurrency wallets has not permeated among the community that sends remittances to El Salvador.

The BCR reports that between January and November 2023, less than 1.5% of remittances arrived through digital cryptocurrency wallets.

Bitcoin’s adoption has sparked significant interest and debate worldwide. With a diverse range of opinions, a majority of Salvadorans express limited or no usage of Bitcoin, while a minority remains actively engaged in its utilization. As of today, Bitcoin has not become part of Salvadoran culture.