News|Business and Economy
El Salvador President Bukele wants Bitcoin as legal tender
The move, if approved, would make El Salvador the first country in the world to formally accept cryptocurrency as legal money.
President Bukele will soon propose a bill to formally accept cryptocurrency as legal money [File: Dado Ruvic/Reuters]
6 Jun 2021
El Salvador may become the first country to make Bitcoin legal tender after President Nayib Bukele announced he would soon propose a bill that could transform the remittance-dependent economy.
The move would make the Central American nation the first in the world to formally accept cryptocurrency as legal money and would “allow the financial inclusion of thousands of people who are outside the legal economy”, Bukele said on Saturday.
Voters go to the polls in El Salvador
El Salvador: Bukele party and allies set for legislative control
Allies of El Salvador’s Bukele win absolute majority in Congress
“Next week, I will send to Congress a bill that makes Bitcoin legal money,” he said during a video message to the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami.
He said the bill aims to create jobs in a country where “70 percent of the population does not have a bank account and works in the informal economy”.
Welcome to the future 🇸🇻 #Bitcoin​
— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) June 5, 2021
The government is yet to give details of the bill, which will require approval from a parliament dominated by the president’s allies.
Remittances from Salvadorans working overseas represent a major chunk of the economy – equivalent to roughly 22 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
Last year, remittances to the country totalled $5.9bn, according to official reports.
Strike, a mobile payments app that launched in El Salvador in March, said in a statement that it welcomed the legislation and was working with the country to make using Bitcoin technology a success.
“This is the shot heard ’round the world for Bitcoin,” Strike founder and CEO Jack Mallers, who introduced Bukele’s video, was quoted as saying at the Miami conference.
“Adopting a natively digital currency as legal tender provides El Salvador the most secure, efficient and globally integrated open payments network in the world,” Mallers said.
The cryptocurrency market grew to more than $2.5 trillion in mid-May 2020, according to the CoinMarketCap page, driven by interest from increasingly serious investors from Wall Street to Silicon Valley.
But the volatility of Bitcoin – currently priced at $36,127 – and its murky legal status has raised questions about whether it could ever replace fiat currency in day-to-day transactions.
Play video on original page

To the moon? Cryptocurrency market cap surges past $2 trillion
Bitcoin is worth more than $1 trillion alone after its price more than doubled in 2021.
5 Apr 2021
Five of Salvadoran president’s allies accused of corruption: US
The US State Department lists several Central American politicians and officials ‘credibly alleged’ to be corrupt.
18 May 2021
Bitcoin buy-in: MicroStrategy pours $1bn more into cryptocurrency
The business intelligence firm said it now owns close to 90,531 bitcoins and will continue to buy more.
24 Feb 2021
Biden eases travel to US to those with COVID vaccinations
DiDi co-founder Liu told colleagues she plans to leave: Sources
Bitcoin sinks below $43,000 as Evergrande fears sweep markets
England cancels cricket tours of Pakistan over security concerns
‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero sentenced to 25 years in prison
Canada votes: Polls open as Trudeau faces election battle
Infographic: All you need to know about the Canadian election
Several killed in shooting at Russian university
Our Channels
Our Network
Follow Al Jazeera English:
© 2021 Al Jazeera Media Network