President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador said in a taped message played at a Bitcoin conference in Miami on Saturday that he will bring proposed legislation to the country’s assembly next week that would make cryptocurrencies legal tender in the Central American nation.
“Next week I will send to Congress a bill that will make Bitcoin a legal tender in El Salvador,”said Bukele.
The 39-year-old president, who has high support ratings and uses Twitter as his primary mode of communication, described it as an idea that may help El Salvador progress.
“In the short term, this will generate jobs and help provide financial inclusion to thousands outside the formal economy and in the medium and long term we hope that this small decision can help us push humanity at least a tiny bit into the right direction”.
El Salvador’s national currency is the US dollar. Despite the COVID outbreak, almost a fourth of El Salvador’s people who live in the United States sent home more than $6 billion (€XX) in remittances last year.
Bukele’s New Ideas party has a supermajority in the newly elected congress, which means any legislative proposal from the president has a good chance of passing.
The plan’s details have not been revealed. However, Bukele also stated on Twitter that Bitcoin may be “the fastest-growing mechanism to move 6 billion dollars in remittances per year.”
He claims that a large portion of the money transactions is now lost to intermediaries and that Bitcoin may assist over a million low-income households.
He also stated that 70% of the population of El Salvador lacks a bank account and works in the informal economy. Bitcoin, he believes, has the potential to increase financial inclusion.