El Salvador becomes the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender

San Salvador — El Salvador became the first country in the world to officially adopt Bitcoin as fiat currency after Congress approved a proposal to accept President Nayib Bukele’s cryptocurrency.

Despite concerns about the potential impact on El Salvador’s International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, 62 out of 84 votes were obtained, an initiative to enact legislation in which a majority of lawmakers formally adopt Bitcoin. Voted in favor of.

Mr. Bukele advertised the use of Bitcoin as it could help Salvadorans living abroad to send money, and said the US dollar would continue to be used as fiat currency.

“This will bring financial inclusion, investment, tourism, innovation and economic development to our country,” Mr. Buquere said in a tweet tweeted shortly before the parliamentary vote.

He added that the use of Bitcoin is voluntary and poses no risk to users. Its use as fiat currency will come into force within 90 days.

“The government guarantees the exchangeability for accurate value in dollars at the moment of each transaction.”

El Salvador’s dollarized economy relies heavily on money sent back from foreign workers. According to World Bank data, remittances to the country in 2019 were about $ 6 billion, about one-fifth of GDP, one of the highest in the world.

Experts say the move to Bitcoin could complicate negotiations with the IMF, where El Salvador is seeking a $ 1 billion or more program.

Nelson Renteria

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