Chivo Pet, a recently opened veterinary hospital in San Salvador, is offering a rebate on the cost of hospital services if pet owners pay for them with Bitcoin.
Routine checkups, operations and maintenance only pay 25 percent of the service fee if the pet owner uses the “Chivo” digital wallet.
Melvin Rogel, director of Chivo Animal Hospital said, “We want Salvadorans to have access to hospital services for their animals. Especially because they sometimes don’t have the economic resources to go to a private veterinary hospital. choice in that situation.”
Roxana Alvarado, who owns a dog, said, “I paid in Bitcoin, 25 dollars for routine checks plus 25 cents for drugs at the pharmacy.”
Bitcoin has been the legal tender in El Salvador in addition to the US dollar since September 7. In January, the country’s government rejected the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) recommendation to cancel the digital currency as legal tender.
Claudia Ortiz, a politician from the Vamos Party said, “The president asked for a loan from the IMF because he didn’t have enough funds, and the IMF said, as a condition, Bitcoin should be eliminated as legal tender. Then the president said, he doesn’t even want it. We told him. president, as the opposition, we don’t want the condition of this country to worsen but we need to point out the negative decisions that affect the people of El Salvador.”
Critics have warned that the currency’s lack of transparency could increase criminal activity in El Salvador and that unchecked changes in the value of the digital currency could put the currency’s owners at risk. [lj/uh]