El Salvador becomes first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as official currency
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El Salvador becomes first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as official currency

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By Tekato Longkumer Updated: Sep 07, 2021 10:05 pm
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El Salvador accepts Bitcoin as currency
Photo: IANS.

Dimapur, September 7 (EMN): In a move that El Salvador President Nayib Bukele describes as “breaking paradigms of the past,” the Central American nation has become the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, alongside the US Dollar.

El Salvador on Tuesday announced that it had bought 550 Bitcoins. Spearheaded by charismatic President Nayib Bukele, the country’s move to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender is aimed at reducing the cost of commisions on remittances incurred by Salvadorans, especially for money that is sent from the United States. According to Bukele, around $400 million is spent annually in commissions for remittances by Salvadorans.

El Salvador’s economy is heavily reliant on remittances sent home by workers employed overseas. Last year alone the total amount of remittances was almost $6 billion, or 23% of the country’s gross domestic product.

In a bid to facilitate its citizens with the right infrastructure to ease into the world of cryptocurrency, the country has launched its own Bitcoin wallet called Chivo. The app will be pre-loaded with $30 worth of currency for users who register with a Salvadoran national ID number.

The government has also set up 200 Chivo Bitcoin automated teller machine (ATM) booths across the country to enable its citizens to cash out US dollars in exchange for bitcoins.

The dollar will still be recognised as the national currency for public accounting purposes, however, businesses will be required to accept bitcoins in exchange for goods and services and the government will also accept it for tax payments.

“Like all innovations, the process of Bitcoin in El Salvador has a learning curve. Every road to the future is like this and not everything will be achieved in a day, or in a month,” wrote Bukele on Twitter. “But we must break the paradigms of the past. El Salvador has the right to advance towards the first world.”

Photo: Nayib Bukele on Twitter.
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By Tekato Longkumer Updated: Sep 07, 2021 10:05:04 pm