Salvadorian IT expert Mario Gómez, a vocal critic of President Nayib Bukele's Bitcoin law, was arrested for unknown reasons earlier today.
Bitcoin critics and the opposition were quick to link Gómez's arrest to his anti-Bitcoin advocacy.
Steve Hanke, professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University, feels vindicated after claiming that Bitcoin is part of Bukele's plan to establish authoritarianism in El Salvador.
Deputy Claudia Ortiz is demanding the swift release of the detainee.
Mario Gómez @mxgxw_alpha es un activista y profesional de la informática que durante semanas ha explicado los riesgos del #Bitcoin para los salvadoreños de manera muy crítica.— Claudia Ortiz (@ClaudiaOrtizSV) September 1, 2021
Esta mañana ha sido detenido por la @PNCSV.
Exigimos una explicación y su pronta liberación. pic.twitter.com/j17FgiupNm
Many members of the cryptocurrency community have even decried the coercive nature of Article 7, which would make it compulsory for vendors to accept Bitcoin. Bukele himself clarified how the forced-tender law would work during a Q&A session:
If there is a lady selling fruit on the market, she is obliged to be paid in Bitcoin.
The controversial Bitcoin law is expected to take effect in El Salvador on Sept. 7. Multiple protests have already broken out in the country.
On Tuesday, El Salvador's Congress voted to approve the creation of a $150 million Bitcoin fund.
After a sweeping victory in March, Bukele's New Ideas party holds a supermajority together with its allies.
The "hipster authoritarian" at the helm of the tropic country has come under fire both at home and abroad after displaying worrying autocratic tendencies. In May, the opposition accused Bukele of staging a coup after he removed five judges and the country's attorney general.