Cryptocurrency enthusiasts have been wishing each other “Happy Bitcoin Day” as El Salvador officially adopted the digital currency as legal tender on Tuesday, the first nation to do so. But the occasion hasn’t been that joyous for owners of bitcoin. The price of the digital currency fell as much as 17% on Tuesday, to just under $43,000, after El Salvador took the Chivo crypto wallet it set up for its citizens temporarily offline during a glitchy rollout of the app.
The price drop and technical problems reflect some of the biggest criticisms surrounding El Salvador’s bitcoin adoption, which included concerns that the country’s potential inability to manage the cryptocurrency would damage bitcoin’s price and global reputation. Tuesday’s price volatility also bolsters criticisms that the cryptocurrency isn’t stable enough to be used as a payment method for daily transactions like grocery purchases or haircuts, which would have been about one-fifth more expensive (in bitcoin) today than yesterday.