Does El Salvador use the US dollar?

04 Aug 2022 - Category: Blog /
elsalvador currency

The Republic of El Salvador is a Central American country bordered by Honduras and Guatemala. It is known for its fantastic surfing beaches and its slightly unusual arrangement when it comes to currency. El Salvador hit the headlines when it became the first nation to recognise the cryptocurrency Bitcoin as both legal tender and one of its national currencies.

People from El Salvador or looking to travel there do not need to worry about buying Bitcoin. US dollars are still in use all over the country and are easy to exchange before you travel. It is also easy to transfer money to family members still living in El Salvador, with dollars being the easiest currency to send.

Here we’re going to look a little more closely at El Salvador’s currency over time, and below, you will discover:

The Currency of El Salvador

El Salvador is located in Central America. Many countries in this region recognise the US Dollar (USD) as a national currency. As mentioned, they also consider Bitcoin legal tender and have recognised it as one of their nationally accepted currencies since September 2021. The country has both regular ATMs and Bitcoin ATMs in major cities and towns.

Visitors to El Salvador and those travelling in the country should ensure they have US dollars available, as exchanging money once in the country can be difficult. You should also think carefully about the processes and risks involved in using Bitcoin and consider having some dollars available for peace of mind.

The History of El Salvador’s Currency

From 1892 until 2001, the currency of El Salvador was the colón. The US dollar replaced the colón in 2001. The proximity of El Salvador to the USA made this easy and convenient for their tourism industry and attracts visitors from the United States with ease. The Monetary Integration Act of 2001 fixed an exchange rate between the colón and the US dollar, and for a time, both currencies were legal tender. While the government does not recognise it, there has never been an official removal of the colón from circulation.

The colón was subdivided into 100 centavos and had the monetary code SVC. You can still research exchange rates to the Salvadoran colón. However, as it is no longer recognised as legal tender, people should not consider exchanging their money. The colón was named after Christopher Columbus, who is responsible for the naming of the country’s capital city, San Salvador.

El Salvador and Bitcoin

Bitcoin is one of the world’s leading cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are known for their volatility, which is why most countries have avoided accepting them as legal tender. El Salvador remains the only nation which considers Bitcoin legal tender but President Nayib Bukele made the decision in the hope of alleviating economic problems in the country.

The government in El Salvador encourages people to use Bitcoin as much as possible. They expect businesses to accept Bitcoin alongside the US dollar and this radical approach to money is different from any other country in the world. The overall aim is to create the world’s first circular Bitcoin economy, and the president and government are committed to this venture into the unknown.

People from El Salvador living and working abroad may understandably have their concerns. However, it is still possible to use US dollars in the country, and you can easily transfer funds from your new country back home with ease.

Exchange Rates

Let’s look more closely at the exchange rates with the two currencies in operation in El Salvador. The first exchange rate worth looking at is between the two. The average exchange rate of the US Dollar to Bitcoin varies greatly due to the volatility of cryptocurrencies. At the time of writing, it was 1 USD to 0.0000438457 BTC.

Comparing USD to other leading world currencies is also useful for ensuring you transfer your funds at the right time. The average exchange rate of the US Dollar to the Great British Pound was 1 USD to 0.81 GBP, and the average between the US Dollar and Japanese Yen was 1 USD to 131 JPY.

El Salvador benefits from utilising one of the world’s leading currencies in, the US Dollar. This ensures a degree of stability and makes it easy for people to transfer money to and from the country. It’s also ideal if you’re travelling in Central America and friends or family want to send you some cash.

Sending Money to El Salvador

Small World provides money transfer services to El Salvador. We help people send money home to El Salvador as well as people travelling and working in the country and across Central America from abroad.

We offer a choice of money transfer services to El Salvador. We have many partner banks and institutions in El Salvador, so we can offer easy and direct bank deposits. You can also use our cash pickup service at a wide range of collection locations around the country.

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