El Salvador President Neb Bukele has announced that local consumers can get a $0.20 per gallon discount on gasoline when paying with the government-backed Chivo Bitcoin wallet.
Calling the news “positive news for El Salvador’s pockets,” the president announced the grant via Twitter on September 30. According to a rough translation, Bukele said:
“State-owned Chivo has been in talks with the largest gasoline companies in our country, so starting tomorrow, their stations will be selling every liter of fuel for $0.20 cheaper using the Chivo Wallet.”
Bukele stressed that there are no restrictions on the discount and that any person or local company can obtain the discount. He added that the discount would eliminate “further increases in global fuel prices” and “lower transportation costs in supply chains.”
However, some Salvadorans seem unsure if the grant will ultimately benefit the public, to which Twitter user Adan_3840 responded:
20 cents from all of us, right? The gas station does not lose, there is a refund after taxes, even for those who walk by. ”
Others mocked the government’s decision to offer the discount only to those who pay through Chivo, and another Twitter account asked why the administration didn’t offer the fuel discount earlier.
In addition to the news, Bukele also announced that he had created a fund to “stabilize” domestic prices for LNG. The president said that while the international market has set a price increase of $1.17 for 25-pound LPG cylinders, Salvadorans will see a “slight reduction” in costs.
He added that the government will absorb the increase for a period of one year only, noting that the decline in international gas prices will also be transmitted to consumers during this period.
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El Salvador became the first country to officially recognize Bitcoin as a legal currency on September 7. Later that month, Bukele said that a third of El Salvador was already using Chivo less than three weeks after its launch.
However, viewers are skeptical about Bukele’s reports of increased crypto adoption, with outspoken crypto critic and writer David Gerard arguing that Salvadoran officials “feed Bakele their loved ones” who “fall apart at the slightest investigation.”
In his Attack of the 50-Foot Blockchain newsletter, Gerrard analyzed Chivo usage accounts provided by Bukele and concluded that the government-backed wallet would “make more transactions per day than Visa globally” if the president’s data were correct.