Amid IMF reaction, El Salvador changes technology provider for its ‘Chivo’ wallet

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El Salvador has changed the frontend and backend technology provider of its “Chivo” wallet in an apparent attempt to fix a number of issues that have plagued their state bitcoin wallet. This development occurs when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommended that the Central American nation abandon the use of Bitcoin as currency.

The Chivo wallet is a crypto wallet for citizens to facilitate Bitcoin transactions. The Salvadoran government deposited $30 worth of Bitcoin into each citizen’s Chivo wallet as “seed money” to power Bitcoin transactions. Chivo is also in the process of implementing 1,500 Bitcoin ATMs throughout the country to more easily serve the Salvadoran population. By the end of 2021, around 75 percent of the population had downloaded Chivo.

Crypto software firm AlphaPoint will support the front-end and back-end infrastructure that powers the wallet and integrates the entire ecosystem, including the mobile app, mobile POS processing, merchant website portal, software call center support and administrative console.

According to the New Scientist report, citizens of El Salvador were reporting that their Bitcoin has been disappearing from their Chivo wallets. It should be noted that 50 complaints of this type have already been identified by the Commissioner so far. “The government has not responded, nor does it recognize the errors. It is one of the things that people are demanding, that they respond to their complaints. Many have waited several months for a response to get their money back,” the Commissioner told New Scientist.

“El Salvador and President Bukele are really leading globally with this first big experiment in nationwide Bitcoin adoption,” said Igor Telyatnikov, co-founder and CEO of AlphaPoint. “No one else has attempted to execute a project of this size.”

Meanwhile, the government of El Salvador rejected the IMF recommendation to eliminate Bitcoin as legal tender in the Central American country, and its Minister of Finance, Alejandro Zelaya, stated that “no international organization is going to force us to do anything, nothing absolutely”. Zelaya told a local TV station that Bitcoin is a “sovereignty” issue and that “countries are sovereign nations and make sovereign decisions on public policy.”

A statement issued by the government of El Salvador stated: “The Government of President Nayib Bukele informs that the American company AlphaPoint is providing technology for Chivo Wallet, the first national digital wallet in the world. AlphaPoint, which provides financial technology to institutions globally, is adding its expertise to offer financial services and access to Bitcoin for millions of Salvadorans who actively use the Chivo wallet.”

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