El Salvador has adopted Bitcoin as legal tender, president says

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
SOPA Images/Getty Images

El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele said the nation has adopted Bitcoin as legal tender, a step he believes will create jobs and promote financial inclusion.

Bukele, Latin America’s youngest president who’s known to break from the norms, said on Twitter lawmakers approved the legislation by a "supermajority".

The 39-year-old leader has previously said that Bitcoin could boost the economy, help counter El Salvador’s low banking penetration rate and facilitate faster transfers for $6 billion of remittances a year. The move to make the virtual coin legal tender is a rare slice of good news for the largest cryptocurrency, which is struggling to recover from a rout in May.

El Salvador’s central bank President Douglas Rodriguez said in an interview with state TV on Tuesday that Bitcoin is already used in the country and "it’s not something people need to be afraid of," while adding it won’t replace the US dollar.

Bitcoin has roughly halved from a mid-April record of almost $65,000, hurt in part by billionaire Elon Musk’s criticism of the amount of energy needed by the servers underpinning it.

Harsher regulatory scrutiny in places such as China has also soured sentiment, and the idea that more mainstream investors will warm to it has taken a knock. But the Bitcoin faithful say these are temporary setbacks and that the virtual currency’s role will expand.

Bitcoin climbed 2.5% to about $34,500 in London on Wednesday morning, reversing earlier losses. The wider Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index increased about 3%.

- With assistance from Eduard Gismatullin

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
13.75
+0.1%
Rand - Pound
19.41
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
16.67
+0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.60
-0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.0%
Gold
1,856.66
-0.1%
Silver
27.78
+0.4%
Palladium
2,775.50
+0.6%
Platinum
1,149.50
-0.5%
Brent Crude
73.99
+1.6%
Top 40
61,062
0.0%
All Share
67,311
0.0%
Resource 10
64,119
0.0%
Industrial 25
88,248
0.0%
Financial 15
13,596
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Have you noticed a difference in the voices of women compared to men in virtual meetings?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, there is a difference.
29% - 80 votes
No, I haven't noticed it.
62% - 172 votes
A bad internet connection worsens it.
10% - 27 votes
Vote