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Sporadic protests have marred El Salvador’s legislative push to regulate and recognize bitcoin as legal tender. But despite the negative attention, El Salvador is building a robust digital marketplace.

According to CoinPayments.net, El Salvador’s cryptocurrency market has grown 68% since June when President Nayib Bukele announced the plan. While still small, the nation’s digital currency market is valued at $161,000. El Salvador has become a leader in the Latin American region. Guatemala, which has double the population, has a nonexistent cryptocurrency market valued at only $2,000.

“Instead of marching in the streets and protesting this legislation, Salvadorian consumers would be better served educating themselves about cryptocurrencies. Once they realize the benefits and ease of cross-border transactions, they will be dancing in the streets not protesting,” said Jason Butcher, CEO of CoinPayments.

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