Bitcoin will remain legal in El Salvador during President Nayib Bukele’s second term, his vice president said on Wednesday. Days before an election that Bukele is expected to win handily thanks to a draconian crackdown on gangs, Felix Ulloa – temporarily on leave to run for re-election with Bukele – has redoubled his efforts for the Central American nation’s adoption of the cryptocurrency as legal tender.
The statement comes after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) asked El Salvador to “reconsider” the measure during negotiations for a billion-dollar loan, Ulloa said.
The government has no plans to reverse that decision, Ulloa said, adding that the recent announcement by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) allowing state-listed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) -United following Bitcoin only strengthened his resolve.
A decade in the making, ETFs have been deemed revolutionary for Bitcoin, giving investors exposure to the world’s largest markets. cryptocurrency without directly holding tokens.
ETFs also provide a major boost for a crypto industry plagued by scandals. “Not only will (the law) be maintained,” Ulloa said Wednesday in an interview with Reuters. “Right now, he has the greatest credibility in the world. »
If Bukele and his New Ideas party win on Sunday election As the vast majority of polls predict, the Salvadoran government will continue its plan to launch bitcoin-backed bonds in the first quarter of 2024, Ulloa said. He said that the construction of Bitcoin City, a tax-free crypto paradise proposed by Bukele in the east of the country, and the issuance of passports to investors who contribute the equivalent of a million dollars in cryptocurrency would also continue.
In September 2021, El Salvador became the first country in the world to establish Bitcoin as legal tender, earning it heavy criticism. One of the most vocal critics has been the IMF, with which the country is negotiating a $1.3 billion loan. Ulloa, a 72-year-old lawyer, hopes that obstacles to accessing IMF financing will be overcome, in a context of accelerating public debt. “The majority of the package has already been agreed,” he said.