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Fast food giant McDonald's began accepting Bitcoin payments in El Salvador on Tuesday, at the same time the nation became the first to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender.

Although the law stipulates that businesses must accept Bitcoin, many were skeptical that large businesses would be able to integrate Bitcoin payment solutions by the time the law went into effect.

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To the surprise of many Bitcoiners, McDonald’s in El Salvador already can and will accept Bitcoin payments. The company has managed to integrate OpenNode lightning payments into its services, meaning anyone can buy food from a McDonald’s in El Salvador using the lightning network by scanning a paper receipt with a QR code from their phone.

Photo courtesy of Journalist and Bitcoin OG Aaron van Wirdum

Photo courtesy of Journalist and Bitcoin OG Aaron van Wirdum

Julie Landrum, Head of Growth for OpenNode made a statement:

“We are incredibly excited to work with McDonald’s to help make adoption of the country’s Bitcoin Law an operational success. It’s just a massive opportunity to demonstrate the power of the Lightning Network for everyday high volume, low value purchases at the most popular and successful fast food chain in the world. Clearly another significant milestone on the path to growing the bitcoin economy.” 

OpenNode's partnership with McDonald's delivered a payment solution in a timely manner. The Bitcoin native Chivo app downloads in El Salvador, however, are temporarily unavailable due to a surge in demand. Every El Salvadoran in the country has or will soon be able to use $30 of Bitcoin given to them through Chivo.

Many Bitcoiners are still wondering whether and to what extent the Bitcoin payment solutions will be used by these giant companies outside of El Salvador. It seems unlikely that these companies would continue to provide superior payment technology solutions only within El Salvador, while neglecting to offer services that allow for people to pay in Bitcoin back home in the U.S and in other countries.

It has yet to be verified whether other major American companies in El Salvador, such as Nike and Walmart, have also enabled Bitcoin payments.