Last Saturday, El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, announced that he would grant a bill to the legislature to make Bitcoin (BTC) the nation’s legal tender officially. Thus, it’d be the first country to adopt cryptocurrency as part of its economy formally.
Bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador? Much of the Central American country now operates outside the boundary of standard finance:
- 70% of the locals do not have a bank account.
- 20% of the country’s GDP is originally from remittances; which are funds sent by Salvadorans living overseas back to the country.
Bukele announced that bitcoin could help simplify those cumbersome cross-border transactions; this is while encouraging “financial inclusion” for those left out of the system.
There aren’t numerous items yet, and Bukele’s not working them. But, at 39 years old, he understands social media and remarkably successful with his constituents; his approval rating is more than 90%. So this bitcoin bill should easily pass.
The White House Special Envoy for the Northern Triangle, Ricardo Zúñiga, announced that the US government would like to see El Salvador shift the moves against the court and the attorney general during a visit to El Salvador. However, Bukele stated that would not happen.
El Salvador’s Future
Bukele’s focus on power, aggression on critics, and open hatred for tests on his power have heightened concerns about the country’s path.
However, Bukele has a broad support base in part due to the utter failure of the country’s traditional parties who ruled during the past 30 years to improve people’s lives and to his ability to provide short-term benefits.
Bukele has been honored for aggressively acquiring COVID-19 vaccines. As well as running an effective vaccination program far more successful than El Salvador’s next-door neighbor.
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