Bitcoin became El Salvador's official Currency, while IMF stated the challenges the ministry of finance would face by the move




Bitcoin-became-El-Salvador's-official-currency


 Bitcoin became the official currency of El Salvador alongside the US dollar after the Central American country became the first to adopt the cryptocurrency as legal tender. At three minutes to midnight local time, the country's populist president Nayid Bukele tweeted that the country was about to make history with the move, after previously confirming that it had purchased 400 Bitcoins, the equivalent of around $20.9 million.

The supporters argue the move will make it cheaper and easier for migrants to sent money home to El Salvador, which is important given such remittances account for over 24 per cent of the country's gross domestic product, according to figures from the World Bank reported by CNBC. There are also hopes the move could improve citizens' access to financial services. The CEO of Strike, a digital finance company that helped with the logistics of the new law, told CNN that over 70 per cent of the country's "active population" do not currently have a bank account.

However, there are fears that the adoption of such a historically volatile currency "Bitcoin" could harm Salvadorans, and risk economic stability after the country passed a law to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender.

Last month the country began installing 200 ATMs around the country to allow citizens to convert between the country's two official currencies. It's also launching its digital wallet called "Chivo," which awards users free $30 worth of Bitcoin to encourage adoption.

The law means citizens will be able to pay taxes in Bitcoin, and shops will be able to display prices in the digital currency. Money exchanged into the currency will also not be subject to capital gains tax. CNBC notes that the move El Salvador the first country to officially have Bitcoin on its balance sheet and to hold it as part of its reserves.

The challenges faced by IMF on Bitcoin becoming legal tender

The International Monetary Fund, which provided an emergency loan to El Salvador last year and is now negotiating another round of lending, has taken a dim view of using bitcoin as legal tender, saying that doing so raises several economic, financial and legal issues.

"How do we know what we collect in taxes when bitcoin goes up and bitcoin goes down? How do we plan for expenditures?  Remember in April, bitcoin crossed $65,000 and then it dropped almost half of it. That is a problem that the ministry of finance is going to be wrestling with. And it is not an easy one," Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, said recently.



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