El Salvador takes a massive leap into the world of cryptocurrency as Bitcoin becomes a new legal tender.
The country usher in a new era as president Nayib Bukele championed El Salvador’s use of bitcoin as a currency by investing a whopping $21 million in the acquisition of Bitcoin on Monday.
President Nayib Bukele announced, buoying the crypto market ahead of making history Tuesday by becoming the first country in the world to formally adopt the digital currency as legal tender.
El Salvador’s decision to adopt bitcoin as a legal tender is controversial and questions over logistics have been raised both at home and abroad. Polls suggest most Salvadorans are against the idea and many have taken to the streets to protest the change.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said its plans may threaten an anticipated deal with the country, while some economists warn of the country becoming a haven for financial crime and there are widespread concerns over the potential environmental impact of bitcoin, which uses huge amounts of electricity.
Some of these criticisms—notably environmental impact and crime, which certainly are significant problems—are often raised as if they are insurmountable and without reference to efforts to remedy the issue or context.
Bitcoin could be mined using electricity generated from clean sources, for example, and crypto’s popularity among criminals makes up a small fraction of illicit financial transactions. Many are excited about the change and Bukele has been open in his hopes it will attract a new cohort of entrepreneurs to the country.