The Central African Republic (CAR) has adopted bitcoin as legal tender, the president’s office said on April 27, becoming the second country in the world to do so behind El Salvador.

Lawmakers unanimously adopted a bill that made bitcoin legal tender alongside the CFA franc and legalised the use of cryptocurrencies, and President Faustin Archange Touadera signed the measure into law, his chief of staff Obed Namsio said in a statement.

The CAR “is the first country in Africa to adopt bitcoin as legal tender”, Namsio said.

“This move places the Central African Republic on the map of the world’s boldest and most visionary countries,” he declared.

The landlocked state is one of the planet’s poorest and most troubled nations, with an economy that is heavily dependent on mining.

El Salvador became the world’s first bitcoin adopter on September 7. Under it, citizens of the central American country were allowed to use the digital currency – along with the US dollar which has been the official currency for two decades – to pay for any good or service, using a cyber wallet app.

President Nayib Bukele claimed the introduction of bitcoin would give many Salvadorans access to bank services for the first time and save some $400 million in fees on remittances sent home from abroad every year.

Following the introduction, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned of “large risks associated with the use of bitcoin on financial stability, financial integrity, and consumer protection” and with issuing bitcoin-backed bonds.

On 1416 GMT on April 27, Bitcoin was trading at $38,559, down by $1,288 or 3.23 per cent from its previous close, extending a pullback that began on March 28 when the cryptocurrency peaked at $48,199.