El Salvador Becomes First Country to Use Bitcoin as National Currency

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by Ailan Evans

 

El Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender Tuesday, allowing Salvadorans to use the cryptocurrency to purchase goods and services.

President Nayib Bukele officially announced the adoption of Bitcoin as a national currency in a press release late Monday, tweeting that the country had bought its first 400 bitcoins.

“Tomorrow, for the first time in history, all the eyes of the world will be on El Salvador. Bitcoin did this,” Bukele said.

The country passed legislation in June approving the currency as valid legal tender and requiring all businesses to accept bitcoin as legitimate payment if they have the technology to do so. Under the law, El Salvador will continue to use the U.S. dollar alongside Bitcoin and the exchange rate between the two currencies will be determined by the market.

The country will also give each citizen $30 worth of bitcoin through a digital wallet called “Chivo” in an effort to promote adoption, and allow citizens to withdraw their bitcoins through ATMs.

The adoption of Bitcoin as a national currency was motivated in part by El Salvador’s reliance on remittances, according to Bukele. Since Bitcoin allows for the exchange of money without a middleman guaranteeing the contract and collecting transfer fees on remittances, Bukele said adopting the cryptocurrency would save billions of dollars previously lost to financial intermediaries.

 

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Ailan Evans is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Nayib Bukele” by Cecilia Rivera. Background Photo “Bitcoin on Blue Background” by Jernej Furman. CC BY 2.0.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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