Business & Economy

Law legalizing cryptocurrency in El Salvador takes effect

San Salvador, Sep 7 (EFE).- El Salvador Tuesday became the world’s first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, alongside the American dollar after a law approved by the country’s parliament in June came into force.

Economic agents will have to accept Bitcoin as payment and all prices of products and services must be expressed in dollars and Bitcoins, according to the legislation introduced by the ruling party in the Legislative Assembly.

The government has allocated more than $200 million for the implementation of the project and bought Bitcoin worth about $21 million Monday.

The Bitcoin Law rakes effect amid widespread skepticism in the country about cryptocurrencies, according to different polls.

Several protests against the regulation were convened Tuesday.

El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele, who announced the proposal to legalize the cryptocurrency at the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami, Florida, is betting that the move will generate jobs and help provide financial inclusion to thousands outside the formal economy.

“Like all innovation, the Bitcoin process in El Salvador has a learning curve. Every road to the future is like this and not everything will be achieved in a day, or in a month,” Bukele wrote on Twitter on Monday night.

“But we must break the paradigms of the past. El Salvador has the right to advance towards the first world,” he added.

This is Bukele’s first proposal that has been rejected by a large section of the population, according to opinion polls, although the president continues to enjoy high levels of popularity.

According to a poll by the the Institute on Public Opinion of the Central American University, 66.7 percent of Salvadorans believe that the Bitcoin Law should be repealed while 65.2 percent are opposed to the use of public funds for the implementation of the cryptocurrency as legal tender. EFE


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