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Crypto assets such as bitcoin (BTC) are becoming an alternative to cash for sending valuables in El Salvador. According to a report released by the country’s Central Bank, more than R$ 600 million in crypto assets were sent in 2022 through family remittances.

Crypto assets represented 1.7% of the family remittances sent to El Salvador between January and November 2022. Those remittances went through digital wallet transactions and expressed an increased adoption of digital assets by the population.

Over the last year, El Salvador received almost US$ 7 billion in family remittances, representing the transfer of values through citizens living outside the country.

Bitcoin in El Salvador

El Salvador has become the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as a legal tender. In addition to the US dollar, since September 2021, the crypto asset has been used by the population as a form of payment and value transfer.

This adoption has also reverberated in the increased use of digital currency by Salvadorans living and working outside the country. Most of the family remittances were sent by citizens in the United States, about 93% of the total.

In addition to the United States, remittances received by El Salvador come from countries such as Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom. According to the Salvadoran Central Bank, there has been a 3.4% increase in remittances in 2022 in comparison to 2021, which represents 22 million financial transactions.

El Salvador also invests directly in bitcoin, considering it as an official currency. However, by November 2022, the country had lost more than R$ 300 million due to the fall of the digital asset, which has accumulated a considerable loss in value since the bear market period began last year.