The Central American nation of El Salvador officially introduced Bitcoin as legal tender on Tuesday, making it the first country to introduce Bitcoin as another fiat currency in circulation alongside the US dollar.
president Nayib Bukele revealed on Twitter, saying the country “just bought 200 new coins, we now hold 400 bitcoins” after the country introduced a new monetary policy.
Bitcoin’s price has broken the $ 52,000 mark and is trading at $ 52,751,000 at 11:11 a.m. Hong Kong time, according to data provider CoinMarketCap.
Bukele spoke in Spanish and urged its citizens to “break the paradigms of the past” as “El Salvador has the right to advance towards the First World”.
“Like all innovations, the #bitcoin process in El Salvador has a learning curve. Every way into the future is like this, and not everything will be achieved in a day or in a month. “
Prior to the launch of Bitcoin, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor tweeted Bukele’s message again Monday, saying that he “intends to buy $ 30 worth of BTC in solidarity” to aid Salvadorans.
Bitcoin ATMs installed
Historically, El Salvador was the first nation in the world to pass the “Bitcoin Law” in June. However, global financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank have been concerned when its implementation and even concerns that its introduction could create further uncertain monetary or regulatory risks. At the same time, the regional bank CABEI offered the country technical assistance.
The dollar economy in El Salvador is heavily reliant on remittances from migrants abroad, which amounted to $ 6 billion last year and about a fifth of its gross domestic product, according to a Bloomberg report. Bukele claimed that Bitcoin could save Salvadorans $ 400 million a year in fees for these transactions.
Earlier this month, lawmakers raised the Bitcoin trust fund to the tune of 150 million. Bukele’s administration has so far installed around 200 Bitcoin ATMs nationwide.
There is domestic resistance
Nevertheless, there is still skepticism and resistance domestically against the introduction of Bitcoin as a fiat currency. Reuters reported last Thursday, citing a poll by UCA, a local university in El Salvador, that at least 67.9% of 1,281 people polled are opposed or strongly opposed to the government’s decision to change the currency.
Other nations are still watching whether Bitcoin could “save” the economy. For example, Paraguay has also tabled a bill to propose Bitcoin as legal tender.
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