Bitcoin is to become legal tender in El Salvador, the country’s president said, making it the first nation to adopt a cryptocurrency for everyday use.
Lawmakers in the Central American nation’s Congress passed a bill late on June 8 that will eventually allow the famously volatile digital currency to be used for many aspects of daily life, from property purchases to tax contributions.
“The #BitcoinLaw has just been approved by a qualified majority” in the legislative assembly, President Nayib Bukele tweeted after the vote late on June 8.
“History!” the president added.
The 39-year-old Palestinian-Salvadoran leader said a majority of 62 out of 84 lawmakers approved the bill, which he proposed just last week.
The law passed with the support of Bukele’s allies despite minority opposition parties – who had criticised the speed of the vote – refusing to back it.
With the US dollar as its main currency, El Salvador – a small nation where four out of 10 people live in poverty – has turned to the top crypto asset in a bid to boost its remittance-reliant economy, though it remains unclear how the country plans to implement bitcoin as a functioning currency.
Yet the Salvadoran leader has hailed the virtual currency as “the fastest growing way to transfer” billions of dollars in remittances and to prevent millions from being lost to intermediaries.