El Salvador became the first country to adopt bitcoin as a national currency. Bitcoin is now legal tender in El Salvador alongside the US dollar.
Businesses are required to accept Bitcoin in exchange for goods and services, though merchants who are technologically unable to receive the e-currency are exempt from the law.
Advocates of the digital currency, including the country’s president, Nayib Bukele, say the policy that took effect Tuesday morning was historic.
Bukele also said that using Bitcoin would be an effective way to transfer the billions of dollars in remittances that Salvadorans living outside the country send back to their homeland each year.
But the first few hours of Bitcoin’s official status in El Salvador were marred by technological hiccups as the country opened its digital wallet app to residents and consumers for the first time.
El Salvador’s government holds 550 Bitcoin, which is equivalent to about $26 million.