El Salvador Prez proposed legislation to the country’s congress that would make cryptocurrency legal tender

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele announced in a recorded message on Saturday at a Bitcoin conference in Miami that he would send a bill to the country’s congress next week that would make cryptocurrency legal tender in the country of America. central.

The 39-year-old president, who has maintained approval ratings above 90% and made Twitter his favorite medium, called it an idea that could help El Salvador move forward.

“Next week, I will send a bill to Congress that will make Bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador,” Bukele said. “In the short term this will generate jobs and contribute to the financial inclusion of thousands of people outside the formal economy and in the medium and long term we hope this small decision can help us push humanity to at least a little bit in the right direction. “

The US dollar is the official currency of El Salvador. About a quarter of Salvadoran citizens live in the United States and last year, despite the pandemic, they sent home more than $ 6 billion in funds. Bukele’s New Ideas Party holds a qualified majority in the new congress sitting on May 1, giving any legislative proposal from the president a high probability of adoption.

Additional details of the plan were not disclosed. But Bukele in subsequent Twitter posts noted that Bitcoin could be “the fastest growing medium to transfer $ 6 billion a year in remittances.” He said that much of those money transfers are currently being lost to middlemen and that with Bitcoin over a million low-income families could benefit.

He also said that 70 percent of the population of El Salvador does not have a bank account and works in the informal economy. Bitcoin could improve financial inclusion, he said. With his great popularity and his party’s dominant position in the February 28 elections, Bukele concentrated power. His party’s qualified majority in Congress ousted judges from the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court on May 1. They then replaced the Attorney General.

They had criticized some of Bukele’s most drastic measures during the pandemic, including a mandatory stay-at-home order and containment centers where those who broke policy were held. While maintaining a positive relationship with former US President Donald Trump, Bukele has had a much more strained relationship with President Joe Biden’s administration.

Last month, White House Special Envoy for the Northern Triangle, Ricardo Ziga, said during a visit to El Salvador that the US government would like to see El Salvador overturn measures against the court and the attorney general. Bukele said that would not happen.

Bukele’s concentration of power, attacks on critics, and open disregard for controls over his power have raised concerns about El Salvador’s path. However, Bukele has a broad base of support in part because of the utter failure of the country’s traditional parties that have ruled over the past 30 years to improve people’s lives and its ability to provide short-term benefits.

Bukele praised for aggressively obtaining COVID-19 vaccines and running an effective vaccination program that is much more efficient than El Salvador’s neighbors

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