El Salvador on Tuesday became the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, a real-world experiment proponents say will lower commission costs for billions of dollars sent from abroad but which critics warned may fuel money laundering.
El Salvador has become the first country to accept Bitcoin as legal tender in a move that has got the nation and the world debating the opportunities and dangers of cryptocurrency.
From today, businesses will be obliged where possible to accept the controversial digital coins as payment.
Millions of people are expected to download the government's new digital wallet app which gives away $30 (£22) in Bitcoin to every citizen.
Bitcoin fans around the world have been buying $30 worth of the digital coins as a show of support and to help boost the value of the volatile currency.