El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption continues to gain traction, as evident from the number of people using the government’s Bitcoin wallet called Chivo.
Over the weekend, president Nayib Bukele claimed on Twitter that 2.1 million Salvadorans are actively using the Chivo wallet.
“Chivo is not a bank, but in less than 3 weeks, it now has more users than any bank in El Salvador and is moving fast to have more users than all banks in El Salvador combined.”
“This is wild!”
On Sept 7. El Salvador became the world’s first nation to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender alongside the US dollar. Despite the protests and polls suggesting criticism against this move, already a third of the country’s population is using the cryptocurrency.
To spread the Bitcoin adoption in the Central American country, the government has been offering an incentive of $30 in BTC for anyone who downloads the app. The wallet app has also been dominating the Finance category in El Salvador’s app stores, both iOS APP Store and Google Play Store.
Like the Chivo wallet, Bitcoin ATMs in the country have also grown to hit 205 to become the third-largest after the US and Canada, which have 23,588 and 1,938 respectively, according to Coin ATM Radar.
This Bitcoin adoption also facilitates the growth of the layer 2 solution Lightning Network that allows faster and cheaper bitcoin transactions.
With 32% of El Salvador’s population onboarded to the Lightning Network in less than 3 weeks, the capacity of the network has climbed to a new all-time high of 2,947.67 BTC. This capacity has been growing throughout this year, and at the end of January, it was only around 1,050 BTC.
Like the network capacity, the number of nodes and channels has hit new highs of 27,186 and 74,153, respectively.
A Lightning node is a software that connects and interacts with the main blockchain network and within the LN itself. The nodes open payment channels with each other that are funded with BTC. Transactions are made across these channels, and balance is not broadcast on-chain, thus creating a second layer on top of the bitcoin network.
Last week, Twitter also announced a new feature that allows tipping with Bitcoin over the LN through the payment app built on the network called Strike. Twitter users can basically use any Bitcoin Lightning wallet to send tips to someone’s Strike account.
If this catches on, this could further drive Bitcoin and Lightning Network adoption.