Chivo wallet scams?
As a reminder, the government of El Salvador had offered $ 30 in Bitcoin (BTC) to anyone who would install the Chivo wallet. The sum was rather an incentive, in a country where the monthly minimum wage is 365 dollars. It therefore attracted a few ill-intentioned people.
Cristosal, an association for the protection of human rights, reported to our colleagues in Coindesk that it had received 755 complaints from Salvadorians using Chivo. The latter report that their identity has been stolen, and that the $ 30 in BTC they were supposed to receive has gone up.
👉 To read – El Salvador takes advantage of the fall to restock with a purchase of 420 bitcoins (BTC)
Security measures that leave something to be desired
To receive these BTC, users are invited to take a photo of the 9 digits located on their identity card. This is to guarantee everyone the amount, and ensure that only one person can benefit from the shipment. They are also asked to take a photo of their face, in order to perform facial recognition.
But the technology seems inefficient. Several reports have emerged, explaining that a copy of the identity card is enough to deceive the application, and that facial recognition is not efficient enough.
A local YouTuber, Adam Flores, thus managed to access his grandmother’s account thanks to a simple photocopy of his identity card… By taking a photo of the face of Sarah Connor, the character of Terminator, on a poster of his room.
👉 Also read – Citizens of El Salvador can now receive their salary in Bitcoin (BTC)
Too rapid development for the Chivo portfolio?
The result of these limitations is that many Salvadorans have seen an error message when they tried to access their Chivo wallet. Their account had already been activated, and the $ 30 in BTC flew into the pockets of a third party. Following this, several organizations, including Cristosal, organized themselves to file collective complaints.
Beyond the amount lost, it shows once again that the Chivo wallet was designed in a rush. Already, technical problems had emerged at its launch. This had led Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele to admit that the government had set itself “too big a challenge”. Chivo had also had to update to stop “freezing” the price of BTC, with some using this feature for speculation.
In total, the application was developed in three months. While the country announced the adoption of Bitcoin in early June 2021, the wallet was already available in early September. It is therefore hardly surprising that it shows its limitations. For its part, the government has not communicated on any compensation for users who are victims of scams.
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About the author: Marine Debelloir
Associate Editor on Cryptoast, I fell into the pot of cryptocurrencies a few years ago. I am passionate about the innovative technologies that arise from the blockchain and I like to find the most delicious information to share with you.
All articles by Marine Debelloir.