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El Salvador Becomes First Country To Make Bitcoin Legal Tender

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El Salvador Becomes First Country To Make Bitcoin Legal Tender

Bitcoin has now been made legal tender in El Salvador, making it the first country in the world to do so.

Congress approved the president's proposal to use the cryptocurrency with 62 out of 84 possible votes on Tuesday.

President Nayib Bukele said the government had made history, adding that the move would make it easier for those living abroad to send money home.

The law also means that every business will need to accept Bitcoin as legal tender for goods, unless it doesn't have the technology to make the transaction.

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The president tweeted soon after the change, saying it's 'ambitious, but simple, it is also well structured so that it has zero risk for those who do not want to take risks'.

He also said 'the Government will guarantee convertibility at the exact value in dollars at the time of each transaction' - meaning theoretically there is no risk to users.

The president added: "In turn, it will bring financial inclusion, investment, tourism, innovation and economic development for our country.

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"Let no one tell us that we are too small to be big."

The country itself relies heavily on money that is sent back into the Central American country from workers abroad, with about a fifth of the GDP coming from remittances - that's one of the highest ratios in the world.

But there are worries from financial experts who say that bitcoin makes it easier for money launderers and criminals to act.

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It also means that local currencies will need to be converted, which relies on informal brokers and technical knowledge.

Citizens are also critical.

One wrote on social media: "The only thing I can see with these initiatives is the interest to continue with social inequality. One bitcoin equals more than $30k USD, who will benefit from that?

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"The rich and those who transfer amounts of illicit money nothing more. Focus on the needs of normal people!"

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News

Amelia Ward
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