World Bank has denied the request of El Salvador for technical assistance on implementing Bitcoin as legal tender in the country, on grounds of “environmental and transparency shortcomings”.
Alejandro Zelaya, the Finance Minister of El Salvador said that the Central American country had sought technical assistance from the World Bank since it wants to use bitcoin as legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar.
“We are committed to helping El Salvador in numerous ways including for currency transparency and regulatory processes,”a World Bank spokesperson told Reuters via email.
“While the government did approach us for assistance on bitcoin, this is not something the World Bank can support given the environmental and transparency shortcomings,”he added.
This decision could mean more hurdles for the country to hit its deadline in ensuring that Bitcoin is accepted nationwide during the next three months.
The country has hopes for receiving assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) though. Mr. Zelaya said that discussions with the IMF were fruitful, with the IMF stating that it was “not opposed” to the introduction of Bitcoin.
However, the IMF has stated that El Salvador’s use of Bitcoin has “macroeconomic, financial, and legal concerns.”
President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador said in a taped message played at a Bitcoin conference in Miami this month that he will bring proposed legislation to the country’s assembly that would make cryptocurrencies legal tender in the Central American nation.
Later, this legislation was approved overwhelmingly by the country’s Congress, making El Salvador the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, a move that overjoyed crypto supporters.