12% of Salvadorans used Bitcoin for purchases in 2023: Survey

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According to an annual survey by José Simeón Cañas Central American University in El Salvador, 12% of the local population used Bitcoin (BTC) at least once to pay for goods and services in 2023. 

The survey, conducted in December 2023, featured 1,280 respondents interviewed in their homes.

Almost half of those surveyed made a purchase using Bitcoin only one to three times (49.7%), while 20% used it 10 or more times. The main expense line in BTC appeared to be groceries (22.9%) and supermarkets (20.9%), followed by veterinary clinics (15%).

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The survey shows that the number of Salvadorans using Bitcoin has fallen. In 2022, research from the same university claimed that 24.4% of the population had bought something with BTC.

The number of those who feel their family’s life improved during the past year, with Bitcoin being legal tender, has risen from 3% in 2022 to 6.8% in 2023. However, more than a third of respondents (34.3%) believe that the overall economic situation in the country improved in 2023, primarily due to the decline in crime (24.3%). Only 0.5% of Salvadorans think Bitcoin has anything to do with the economy’s improvement.

The 45-page survey doesn’t contain questions about the Salvadoran government’s Bitcoin investments. In 2023, 77.1% of respondents said they wanted the government to stop “spending public money on Bitcoin.”

According to the “Nayib Bukele Portfolio Tracker,” which follows the changes in El Salvador’s Bitcoin stash, the overall profit of the government’s BTC portfolio is around 0.57% at the time of writing.

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