Updated: 22 february 2024
7 minutes

Chivo Wallet is a digital wallet application launched by the Salvadoran government in 2021. It allows Salvadoran citizens to store, exchange and use bitcoin, which became legal tender in El Salvador in September 2021. 

Chivo Wallet offers a multitude of features, including an option to pay with bitcoin in stores, transfer money to other wallets and convert bitcoin to US dollars.

In this article, we will explore the features that make Chivo hardware wallet one of the most trusted digital wallets for crypto as well as the pros and cons of this app.

In this Chivo wallet review, you’ll find everything you need to know—all in one spot. 

What Is Chivo Wallet?

What Is the Chivo Wallet

Chivo Wallet is a bitcoin and dollar wallet backed by the government of El Salvador. It gives the unbanked population access to digital banking and reliable cryptocurrency transactions. This makes it an attractive choice for users who want to transact with ease and without fees. 

The wallet launched in September 2021 after El Salvador made bitcoin legal tender. The app was developed in partnership with digital identity provider Netki. The latter makes it possible to integrate more than 4-million new users per 45 days. President, Nayib Bukele said its goal was to offer digital banking services to 70% of the country’s unbanked population.

To encourage the use of bitcoin and facilitate transactions with it, the government launched Chivo. At the same time, they also offered an airdrop of $30 in BTC to Salvadorans.

Chivo Wallet’s interface is simple and intuitive. This promotes daily use such as consumption, sending and managing of funds. The platform is available on all devices. Users can download Chivo Wallet from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and Huawei AppGallery.

Chivo Wallet offers several practical advantages. These include no commissions, the ability to send and receive funds in bitcoin or dollars without an intermediary, 24/7.

What Type of Wallet Is Chivo Wallet?

Chivo is a hot wallet available as a mobile application for smartphones. Hot wallets store funds online, meaning they are connected to the internet, so there are some risks of theft involved.

Currently, there is no Chivo cold wallet.

Hot wallets have made accessing funds simple and easy. Users also get the option of transacting directly from their wallet—without going through an exchange or other service. Due to the chance of hacks and infiltrations, Chivo crypto wallet is more suitable for storing small amounts of cryptocurrencies for everyday use rather than large amounts.

Chivo is compatible with other on-chain Bitcoin and Lightning wallets, providing users with greater flexibility for transactions. The mobile app connects with El Salvador’s central bank. In addition, there is a network of Chivo ATMs for depositing and withdrawing dollars in cash. Thus, users have the option of converting their cryptocurrency into fiat currency and vice versa.

More so, the Chivo wallet app has an enterprise version that allows businesses to invoice, assign payments to employees and pay taxes, being for businesses and the self-employed.

Which Crypto Can I Store On Chivo?

Currently, the Chivo Wallet supports two currencies: bitcoins and USD. This decision is due, partly, to the adoption of bitcoin as legal tender by the Salvadoran government in June 2021. Since this date, bitcoin has been used throughout the country to carry out transactions. 

Bitcoin is the world’s first and largest crypto, which was created in 2008 by a person or group of people under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin uses blockchain technology. This is a decentralized and secure database that records all of the transactions carried within its network.

Chivo Wallet runs on Bitcoin blockchain technology, which allows Salvadoran users to store and manage their bitcoins securely. The wallet also stores Salvadoran dollars, allowing users to easily switch between the two currencies without worrying about market volatility.

In Which Countries Is Chivo Wallet Available?

Where Can You Use Chivo Wallet

Chivo is a digital wallet created for users from El Salvador. However, since February 2022, its creator announced that Chivo Wallet is available to European users through the App Store. With the app available in Europe, users can now send money instantly to their loved ones in El Salvador—without having to worry about high-transaction or and long-processing times.

Additionally, Chivo Wallet uses cutting-edge technology to ensure the security and privacy of transactions made through its digital wallet. Here’s a list of places where Chivo is available:

  • El Salvador
  • Europe

Keep in mind that Chivo isn’t available in all countries in Europe. Users should check in their respective App Store to see if the app is available for their country.

Is Chivo Compatible With Hardware Wallets?

Currently, Chivo isn’t compatible with hardware wallets. The wallet is, itself, made as a standalone wallet, but there is one option if you need to store other cryptocurrencies.  

Consider the Coinbase if you’re looking to store other currencies than bitcoin and USD.

Chivo Features and Options

Service Options of Chivo Wallet

Chivo Wallet’s features and services make it easier to buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies as well as executing dollar transactions. Here’s a look at the features this wallet hosts:

In-Store Purchases

Chivo Wallet allows users to purchase goods and services from stores when using their bitcoins and/or dollars. Users can make purchases by scanning QR codes from their wallets.

Chivo Wallet Registration

Registering on Chivo Wallet is very easy and only takes a few minutes. Users must provide basic information. This includes their name, address, telephone and identification number. The application then asks for a photo of your ID and a selfie for facial recognition. 

After registration, users can start buying, selling and storing bitcoins and/or dollars.

No Commissions

Chivo Wallet doesn’t charge commissions for sending and receiving bitcoins and/or dollars. This lack of fees is a benefit for users who want to transact regularly without having to pay additional fees. However, small fees may be charged for Bitcoin transactions on the blockchain. These fees are independent of Chivo Wallet and are determined by the bitcoin network itself.

For Sending Money

The Chivo Wallet can send and receive bitcoins and/or dollars without the need for intermediaries. This feature is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at no additional cost.

Withdraw Dollars Whenever You Want

Chivo Wallet connects to El Salvador’s banking system when you deposit or withdraw dollars from the platform. This feature allows you to withdraw dollars at any time, which is convenient when you need to quickly access money.

Currency Exchanging—BTC or USD

With Chivo, you can store, send and receive bitcoins or dollars, which is useful when exchanging between these two currencies without the need for another platform.

Enterprise Version

Chivo has an enterprise version that offers additional features for businesses. Businesses can invoice, assign payment terminals to employees and pay taxes quickly and easily.

In short, Chivo offers a range of features to facilitate the use of cryptocurrencies in El Salvador. Users enjoy no fees, ease of use and access to ATMs. Additionally, the enterprise version offers additional features for businesses—such as invoicing and managing employee payments.

What Are Chivo’s Fees?

Using Chivo Wallet is free and without fees, which is how the Salvadoran government encourages the wallet’s use. More so, Chivo Wallet offers a discount on gas if paid in bitcoins. This is particularly advantageous compared to other wallets, which can charge up to 10%.

Overall, using Chivo Wallet appears to be beneficial for users due to the lack of transaction fees and the financial incentives provided by the Salvadoran government. 

However, it is essential to remember that transaction fees may be introduced in the future.

Is This a Secure Wallet?

While Chivo had a disastrous start, today, it remains secure. The company behind it, CHIVO SA DE CV, has security measures in place to protect users’ personal and financial information.

According to their privacy policy, only necessary data is collected. 

As a user, you must provide consent before your information is shared with verified institutions and companies. However, in the event of legal proceedings, litigation or at the request of public authorities, CHIVO SA DE CV may be forced to share your personal information.

Where Crypto Became Legal Tender

In addition, CHIVO SA DE CV has effective IT security systems to prevent unauthorized access to user information. Backups are carried out regularly to guarantee continuity of service and satisfaction surveys are carried out to improve the service.

Despite all these measures, it’s important to note that no digital wallet is completely safe from hacker attacks. Users should therefore take steps to protect their information and assets. 

Consider using a strong password and enabling two-factor authentication.

Who Is This Wallet Suited For?

The Chivo Wallet is ideal for those in El Salvador, but what type of user is it best suited for?

If we had to choose just one-user profile, it would undoubtedly be the beginner. Indeed, intermediate and expert users might find the app’s features too limited to meet their needs.

The Chivo Wallet features an interface that makes it easy for even people who have never used cryptocurrency before to understand the app. Additionally, the registration process is quick and easy. Simply download the app, fill out the necessary information and verify your identity.

Once you create an account, you can purchase bitcoins through ATMs or payment kiosks.

What We Think of the Customer Service

Chivo Wallet customer support is available through Twitter (@ChivoWallet), Facebook (ChivoPortefeuilleSLV) and Instagram (ChivoPortefeuille). You can also contact the customer service team. Its corporate telephone number is 2211-9990 with its international number as +1-(210)-756-2362. Even more, you can send an email to [email protected] for help.

Lastly, you can fill out a form at consulta.chivowallet.com. If yours goes unresolved, you can contact the Superintendence of the Financial System (SSF) directly.

Now the downside of Chivo Wallet’s customer service is that it is not available 24 hours a day.

Though the support team provides service every day from 6:00a.m. to 10:00p.m. via ATMs and other support options, these channels aren’t available at all times. It’s an inconvenience for users who have issues outside of these business hours and need immediate assistance.

Users who are in different time zones or with busy schedules may also find this problematic.

Our Full Opinion of Chivo Wallet

After carefully reviewing the different features and services, it is time to give our final opinion on this e-wallet. Overall, Chivo is a great solution for beginners looking to use crypto. Its ease of use and simple interface helps users to quickly become familiar with crypto in El Salvador. 

Additionally, the availability of ATMs throughout the country facilitates access to more financial services for Salvadorans. However, Chivo Wallet is not perfect. 

Lack of customer service availability, outside of normal business hours, can be an issue for users with issues outside of these hours. Despite this drawback, Chivo Wallet remains a solid option for Salvadoran beginners looking to enter the world of cryptocurrency. Ultimately, the choice of an e-wallet will depend on each user’s individual needs and preferences.

Chivo Wallet—The Pros and Cons

What we like

Makes international money transfers easy

Offers a simple and friendly user experience

Security is a priority for Chivo Wallet

What we don't like

Service is not available 24 hours a day

Lacks advanced features for more experienced users

Your Frequently Asked Questions About Chivo

What is Chivo Wallet?

Chivo Wallet is a digital wallet launched by the Salvadoran government to facilitate transactions using bitcoin.

How can I use Chivo Wallet?

You must first download the mobile application on your smartphone. Create an account and transfer money from your bank or a compatible ATM. You can also receive payments using the bitcoin address generated by your wallet.

Is Chivo Wallet safe?

Yes, Chivo is secure. The app uses end-to-end encryption to protect transactions and personal data. Additionally, the Salvadoran government has invested in additional security measures to protect the system against cyberattacks.

What are the fees associated with Chivo Wallet?

Currently, there are no fees for using Chivo. However, small fees may be charged for bitcoin transactions on its blockchain. These fees are independent of Chivo Wallet and are determined by the Bitcoin network.

What are the advantages of Chivo Wallet?

Chivo Wallet is a one-of-a-kind digital wallet as it is backed by the Salvadoran government and facilitates Bitcoin transactions. Plus, it’s easy to use.

About the author

Joseph Minor

In seeing a digital world explode, Joseph invested his writing in the field of technology over 8 years ago. As a leading-content creator, he believes in clarity, credibility and writing topics people want to read. From blockchain to Web3.0, Joseph sees no shortage of developments as crypto pushes forward. He’s become a voice in technology that people can trust and look forward to hearing more from.