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Three months after the adoption of the law on the legalization of Bitcoin as a means of payment in El Salvador came into force. The country's president said they were “making history,” while the opposition ridiculed the current government’s move, accusing it of budget spending due to inappropriate monetary policy.
Bitcoin has received official legal tender status in El Salvador. The authorities passed the final verdict on this process on July 9, having voted for it by an overwhelming majority 62 votes against 19. The use of Bitcoins comes into equal rights with the American dollar circulating in the country since 2001. Goods, services, and even taxes now all can be paid in the equivalent of the main cryptocurrency on the market.
Of course, like most controversial laws, this one also did not go without criticism. A certain part of the citizens of El Salvador considered it inappropriate to receive pensions and other social payments in Bitcoins, therefore they regularly protest on the streets of the capital with slogans against the introduction of a new asset class. Other Salvadorans seek to show what the protests look like by attaching a comparison of the “journalistic” and “real” scale of what is happening.
Even before the law came into force, on September 6, Bukele said that the authorities bought 200 BTC, and after a while, they replenished their stocks by another 200 BTC. The acquisition is part of the country's $150 million Bitcoin trust, formed to facilitate the exchange between the new asset class and the already familiar US dollars for many Salvadorans.
Bukele confirmed that the integration of Bitcoins into the monetary system does not provide for their mandatory use. According to him, if someone wants to continue carrying cash with them without receiving bonuses, paying exorbitant fees for money transfers, and not drawing the attention of new customers to their business he or she has every right to do so.
While the country's President Nayib Bukele rejoiced at the victory, the opposition was quick to point out to him the unnecessary spending of $10 million. Bukele, in turn, noted that during the reign of the opposition bloc from 1989 to 2009, there was massive embezzlement of budget funds. His expenses amounted to less than 0.03% of the losses of El Salvador over the 20 years of the opposition.
The crypto community actively supported the El Salvadorian authorities in their decision, urging everyone to spend 30 to buy Bitcoins as a symbolic investment and proof of the power of the main cryptocurrency on the market. The flash mob was joined by such iconic community members as the head of MicroStrategy.
Against the background of the legalization of Bitcoin, many organizations have also divided into several camps. Thus, Bank of America noted that the transition to cryptocurrency will indeed simplify the implementation of money transfers, digitize financial activities, expand the choice for consumers, and also open the country to many foreign capitals. While the International Monetary Fund called Bitcoin “a bad idea for the country,” JPMorgan suggested that the country's economy could face a “headwind,” implying various financial constraints if the country did adopt Bitcoin.
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