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Bitcoin ATM Burned in El Salvador Amid Anti-Bukele Protests

A demonstrator vandalizes a Chivo Wallet Bitcoin ATM during a protest in San Salvador, on Sept. 15.

A demonstrator vandalizes a Chivo Wallet Bitcoin ATM during a protest in San Salvador, on Sept. 15.

Photographer: Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images

Anti-government marchers in El Salvador took to the streets Wednesday, the nation’s bicentennial, to protest the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender and recent moves by President Nayib Bukele to consolidate power. 

Several thousand people marched to the central plaza in the country’s capital of San Salvador, brandishing signs declaring “no to dictatorship” and “we were defrauded by Bitcoin.” The demonstrations were largely peaceful though one group smashed windows and set fire to a Bitcoin ATM kiosk installed last month ahead of the cryptocurrency’s rollout as legal tender.