Crypto Platform Bitso to Service El Salvador’s Bitcoin Wallet

(Bloomberg) — Crypto platform Bitso said it’s a core service provider for Chivo, the Bitcoin wallet developed by El Salvador’s government, as the nation makes the world’s largest virtual currency legal tender.

Bitso will work with the U.S. federally regulated Silvergate Bank to facilitate transactions in U.S. dollars, according to a statement from the company. Bitso bills itself as Latin America’s fastest growing crypto platform with over 2.75 million users.  

Chivo — a vernacular local term for “cool” — is intended to serve like a mobile payments app, enabling payments in Bitcoin or dollars between individuals and businesses. Bitso said it will offer custody and exchange services to Chivo, and provide back-end technology. 

“We’re committed to making crypto useful for the country’s citizens,” Santiago Alvarado, vice president of Bitso for Business, said in emailed comments, adding it wants to help “transform payment structures that can increase financial inclusion.”

El Salvador’s passage of the Bitcoin law has been a subject of fascination, praise and criticism. A recent local poll found a majority of people preferred to use U.S. dollars. Observers will be watching to see if many people start using Bitcoin, and whether that brings benefits to the violent, impoverished nation.


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