McDonald’s And Panda Express Start Accepting Bitcoin In El Salvador

Topline

Fast food giants McDonald’s and Panda Express have both started accepting bitcoin as a form of payment in El Salvador after the country became the first to adopt the cryptocurrency as legal tender Tuesday. 

Key Facts

California-based bitcoin payment processor OpenNode confirmed to Forbes it formed partnerships with McDonald’s and Panda Express to allow them to begin accepting bitcoin.

Bitcoin can now be used to pay at all 19 McDonald’s locations in the country, as well as online and through the delivery app, OpenNode said. 

Though these appear to be the first major American companies to adjust to El Salvador’s cryptocurrency initiative, OpenNode spokesperson Ryan Flowers said his team is “currently onboarding multiple multi-billion dollar businesses based in El Salvador.”

Crucial Quote

“Just walked into a McDonald’s in San Salvador to see if I could pay for my breakfast with bitcoin … fully expecting to be told no,” cryptocurrency journalist Aaron van Wirdum wrote in a tweet Tuesday morning. “But low and behold.” 

Key Background 

El Salvador on Tuesday became the first sovereign government to adopt bitcoin as legal tender alongside its existing currency, the U.S. dollar. It allows the country’s residents to pay taxes and other debts using bitcoin, and for businesses to widen their payment options to the cryptocurrency. However, El Salvador’s proclaimed “Bitcoin Day” got off to a rocky start as the cryptocurrency market plunged, with the price of bitcoin falling from over $52,000 to $42,830, its lowest level in nearly three weeks on Tuesday morning. Bitcoin recovered to just under $46,957 by 1:45 EDT, still 9% below a day earlier.

Further Reading 

“El Salvador Taps billionaire-Backed Bitcoin Unicorn In Historic Legal Tender Debut” (Forbes) 

“Crypto Flash Crash Wipes Out $400 Billion In Market Value On Bitcoin Day Before El Salvador’s President ‘Buys The Dip’” (Forbes)

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