IOTA Foundation Selected to Participate in Europe’s Blockchain Infrastructure Project

The non-profit IOTA Foundation is among the seven projects chosen by the European Commission to partake in the first design phase of the European blockchain initiative.

A Milestone for IOTA

IOTA made the announcement in a blog post published on Tuesday (September 7, 2021). According to the blockchain project, IOTA would be involved in the initial stage of the pre-commercial procurement (PCP) process for the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI).

The EBSI is a network of nodes designed to improve cross-border services across Europe between enterprises, governments, and citizens, using blockchain technology. The goal is to boost trust and efficiency in EU transactions while also reducing Europe’s environmental impact and support the expansion of tech hubs and projects.

The call for tender for the PCP was initially announced in November 2020. Following the submission of 30 applications to the European Commission, IOTA was among the seven selected. IOTA, which operates a zero-cost policy for transactions, makes micropayments easy and could see broader adoption compared to other blockchain projects.

Commenting on the latest development was IOTA’s co-founder and CEO, Dominik Schiener, who said:


“We are very excited and honored to be a part of building Europe’s digital services infrastructure. Our goal is to establish IOTA as the foundational technology for Europe and the world. Our economies will be digitized and connected through green, feeless, and scalable DLTs.”

Europe’s Blockchain Initiative

EBSI was first announced in 208 after EU member states and the European Commission came together to form the European Blockchain Partnership (ECP). The ECP was focused on developing a blockchain infrastructure that would benefit businesses, public administrations, and citizens, leading to the creation of the EBSI.

So far, about €4 million ($4.7 million) has been invested in the project between 2019 and 2020. EBSI is a peer-to-peer network of interconnected nodes. These nodes are both run by the European Commission on a regional level and by the ECP on a national level.

Meanwhile, the design phase of the PCP has seven participants in the first stage and would last for three months. Following the completion of the initial stage, the four projects out of the earlier seven will be selected to be involved in the second phase, which is prototype development and lab testing.

The second stage will last for six months, after which only two contractors will be chosen to participate in the third and final phase.

IOTA, meanwhile, seems ready to take on the task, stating:

“The challenge of delivering a DLT infrastructure for the European single market is one that the IOTA Foundation is ready to take on. The potential to extend the infrastructure to states outside the 27 member states is also an exciting motivation for the Foundation.”


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Cardano Confirms Launch Date For Smart Contracts Mainnet Upgrade

Cardano’s developer IOHK has now confirmed smart contracts capability is set to launch on the network on September 12th. The long-awaited upgrade to the Cardano Mainnet will see the addition of smart contracts capability to the network, which would open the door to both developers and investors alike on the network. The launch is scheduled for Sunday, only four days away.

Related Reading | Analyst Lays Out Theory That Suggests A 290% Move In Cardano (ADA) Before Rally Is Over

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Taking to Twitter, the developer shared with the wider community that they had successfully submitted an upgrade proposal to the Cardano Mainnet. This would trigger the hard fork combinator (HFC) event that would take place on Sunday. “The Alonzo HFC event will be the most significant upgrade yet, laying the firmest of foundations for an exciting new era of smart contracts on Cardano,” said the developer.

Using the HFC technology will enable the deployment of smart contracts capability with the core Plutus, which will come will all compatibility upgrades across the entire software stack. Testing has already been underway for the smart contracts capability with trusted testers from previous upgrade iterations. So far, the smart contracts are processing transactions accordingly and developers have taken to building their DApps on the platform.

Gearing Up To Compete

The final deployment will see Cardano competing with other networks successfully operating in the space. Going up against well-known smart contracts platforms like Ethereum, and a new contender that has taken the market by storm, Solana.

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Alonzo Hard Fork will bring decentralized finance (DeFi) and decentralized exchanges (DEX) to the ecosystem, as well as capabilities like being able to mint NFTs on the Cardano blockchain. Effectively expanding the scope of use cases of the network.

Related Reading | New To Bitcoin? Learn To Trade Crypto With The NewsBTC Trading Course

The network ran into some problems earlier when rumors started making the rounds on social media that the smart contracts could only handle one transaction at a time. But this was soon after cleared up by the developers, who showed that the problem was not with the network, but rather with the DApp Minswap. IOHK further encouraged developers to keep testing on the network, adding that “this is what a testnet is for.”

Cardano (ADA) Price Reaction

Cardano, like the rest of the market, is still reeling from the flash crash which it experienced yesterday. Although it has recovered from the lows of the flash crash, the digital asset continues to struggle to find footing back to positions before the crash. The announcement from Cardano’s developer did not do much to push the price upwards, which has left the asset trading around the $2.3 range. Putting it back down below highs from May.

Cardano price chart from

Cardano price chart from

ADA price struggles as market reels from crash | Source: ADAUSD on

At the time of writing, the asset is trading at $2.38, down more than 9% in the last 24 hours. The crash in its value has brought the total market cap of the asset down to $76 billion. Although remaining the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap.

Featured image from Ethereum World News, chart from


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El Salvador: Does Everything Really Benefit Bitcoin?

While the development appears to be great for mass adoption, there is risk to the country making bitcoin legal tender.

Yesterday was a truly historic moment for both El Salvador and Bitcoin. A sovereign nation has adopted bitcoin as legal tender and recognized it as a money not treated or taxed as a capital asset. The entire path from the announcement in Miami to here has been somewhat haphazard, unclear at times, and met with a difficult to measure but undeniable push back from some of the people of El Salvador. But that was obviously going to be the case from the start. Bitcoin has never been put in a situation of this magnitude in its entire lifetime, and it’s still growing and evolving.

When the Chivo Wallet app went live in app stores, every citizen of El Salvador was able to claim a free $30 of BTC that they could use to buy things under the new law. This was the largest airdrop of bitcoin ever done. Every citizen has the option to spend or HODL those sats; every business has the choice to try and incentivize people to spend their bitcoin by offering discounts or deals. This could be a massive opportunity for savvy individuals and businesses to plan for the future by building a stockpile of BTC and reinvest in themselves and their businesses as bitcoin appreciates in price over time.

As things settle down and people become used to interacting with bitcoin, the door is now also opened for remittances to be sent from abroad to El Salvador across the Bitcoin network. The potential savings could be both a massive boost to El Salvador’s GDP as well as a way to put more of the money sent home by family members across the world into people’s pockets instead of being shaved off in fees by businesses like Western Union.

However, this entire remittance dynamic depends completely on a pool of fiat currency down in El Salvador (currently the Trust established by the government). I’m sure many Bitcoiners will love to argue this point, but the reality is many Salvadorians who receive remittances over Bitcoin rails will want to receive it in the form of USD. Many people outside of the Bitcoin community in the country have expressed a large degree of uncertainty and confusion over the roll out of the law, exactly how things will work in practice, and how to use bitcoin. Some have even expressed doubt in the government’s motives and ability to pull this all off.

Let’s think for a minute how a service like Strike works. User A is natively using the Lightning Network and User B has their bank account linked to Strike. If A wants to send B $50, they simply send $50 worth of bitcoin which is received by Strike and converted on their end to credit User B with $50. That requires a sale of bitcoin for fiat. User B cannot be credited $50 after having been sent bitcoin unless someone on that side of the transfer is willing to buy that bitcoin and provide the $50 that User B wants. This is the same type of model implemented in El Salvador with Chivo, except the government is currently the default buyer so User B can receive fiat.

The stability of the guarantee to convert BTC to fiat for anyone who wants USD instead is entirely dependent on the El Salvadoran government having the USD to buy BTC that everyone is now mandated to accept. They established a $150 million Trust to guarantee this convertibility promise that is a linchpin of mandating people to accept bitcoin.

What happens when that Trust runs out of money? To put things into perspective, El Salvador received $623 million in remittances in June 2021.

A single month of the USD remittance flows into the country was more than four times the size of the entire Trust established to guarantee conversion from BTC to USD for citizens that do not want to be exposed to the volatility of bitcoin. What happens when that Trust runs out of money?

The government of El Salvador would have to suspend the guaranteed promise to convert BTC received in payment to fiat — and hopefully the mandate to accept it as well in such a situation — or source more money to fund the Trust with or facilitate matching other buyers of bitcoin with their citizens to maintain the conversion. Having to suspend the conversion guarantee and acceptance mandate would probably be a huge blow of confidence to the entire endeavor. Sourcing more money themselves would likely involve sourcing loans internationally and, as a country, having the IMF effectively shun them with a massive debt-to-GDP ratio, that is highly unlikely to happen. This would realistically leave only the option of finding other buyers internationally to meet the conversion guarantee.

This is where the big problem lies. It would be as simple as sanctioning El Salvador to prevent the government from being able to tap international pools of USD liquidity to continue guaranteeing their citizens can seamlessly convert BTC to USD when accepting it. This would put El Salvador in a very tenuous situation. They would otherwise have to suspend the guarantee and simply hope the organic demand for BTC in El Salvador is enough to continue in a viable way or find other ways to bring USD into the country.

Under international sanctions in my assessment, the only way to do so would be to source physical cash USD. I can think of no realistic way that could be done at scale except to criminally smuggle it into the country, which, given the reality of organized crime in the region, would eventually fall under the domain of MS-13. I won’t go into the gritty details of how dangerous a criminal enterprise they are, but when it comes to illegal smuggling operations in Central America, your only practical option is to deal with the organized criminal groups established in the region.

Any of these potential routes of failure would offer the legacy media and financial institutions a gigantic well of ammunition to attack the roll out of this legislation in El Salvador. You can already see the warm up to it with media outlets criticizing President Nayib Bukele’s unconstitutional dismissal of the Supreme Court and the change of term limitations which would allow Bukele to run for office again. Every way that this goes wrong or has a hiccup will be used to add to these media attacks and narratives, and, in reality, there is very real potential for problems that are much larger than the little hiccups as I outlined above.

The passing of this legislation is a truly historical moment, and one that offers massive potential to do good for the citizens of El Salvador. But it also has massive potential to fail in those goals, and that is not only something that could do harm to Salvadorians but also Bitcoin itself. As a last word, it’s important to remember in the frenzy of optimism and chants of “everything is good for Bitcoin” that that is not a literal truth. Everything in life has positives and negatives, including Bitcoin.

This is a guest post by Shinobi. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.


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Ukraine Has Legalized Bitcoin

The Ukrainian Parliament passed a law that legalizes and regulates bitcoin in the country, providing official clarity on the asset which was not previously clear.

Today, the Ukrainian Parliament passed a law that legalizes and regulates bitcoin in the country. The bill drafted in 2020 passed with a total of 276 lawmakers supporting the law, and only six against it.

The main purpose behind this bill seems to provide clarification on the asset and protect those who own bitcoin, as it was not previously legal or illegal in the country. Though not illegal, Ukrainian law enforcement agencies treated bitcoin and other virtual currencies as a scam, resulting in bitcoin businesses getting raided, according to Kyiv Post.

Now that this bill is passed, courts can now properly protect individuals and businesses, since it provides tax clarity and officially allows bitcoin businesses to operate within the country. It also sets some guidelines for how Ukraine may try and regulate bitcoin more in the future.

This bill gives the citizens “permission” to own and trade bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on exchanges. The bill also gives clarity on wallets and what private keys are.

The Parliament is expected to pass and amend their tax and civil codes before the end of the year to officially “open the market” for businesses and investors, according to a Ministry of Digital Transformation spokesman who spoke to the Kyiv Post.

It is important to note that even though bitcoin is now legal in Ukraine, that does not mean that BTC is legal tender in the country. That will require a whole other bill for that to happen in the future.

This is great news and definitely a step in the right direction towards the country eventually adopting a full on bitcoin standard similar to El Salvador. One important thing to note here is that for bitcoin to fully thrive in a country, it’s important not to stamp it with too many laws or regulations, which would end up stifling innovation. Bitcoin is currently very nascent and seems to be on its way to becoming the world reserve currency — it would be a shame to see countries not capitalize on the opportunity at hand because of over-regulation.


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Steve Harvey Is the New Face of Solana’s NFT Boom

In brief

  • Comedian Steve Harvey just changed his profile picture to that of a Solana Monkey Business NFT.
  • Solana’s NFT scene has picked up considerably in recent weeks amidst surging value for the SOL cryptocurrency.

Solana has been one of the hottest cryptocurrencies of late, rapidly rising in value from a price of about $37 one month ago to an all-time high of nearly $197 today, according to CoinGecko. Rising network activity is credited for that swing, and now even comedian and television host Steve Harvey is getting in on the “Solana Summer” NFT hype.

Today, Harvey changed his Twitter profile picture to that of an NFT from the Solana Monkey Business collection, a set of 5,000 randomly-generated images of cartoonish, pixelated monkeys. An NFT serves as a deed of ownership for nearly any kind of digital item, and profile pictures collections like CryptoPunks and the Bored Ape Yacht Club are in immensely high demand of late.

Both CryptoPunks and Bored Apes are based on Ethereum, by far the most active platform for NFT collectibles. In August alone, leading marketplace OpenSea registered more than $3.4 billion worth of NFT trading volume on Ethereum, and the vast majority of top-trading NFT projects live on that blockchain network.

Steve Harvey has a Solana NFT as his Twitter avatar.

Solana is starting to put up a fight, however. The so-called “Ethereum killer” is a more energy-efficient blockchain network than Ethereum at present, and it’s capable of handling a much larger volume of transactions with fewer fees.

Just a few weeks ago, NFTs on Solana weren’t even a part of the conversation amongst collectors—but they’re finding avid buyers and driving demand on the rising platform.

Solana Monkey Business is one of the latest NFT collections to find an audience on Solana, following recent drops like Degenerate Ape Academy and Aurory. Both of those collections have been credited with boosting activity on the platform, and their respective drops also coincided with a rise in the price of Solana’s SOL coin in recent weeks.

According to data from Solanalysis, NFT collectibles on Solana have generated some $94 million worth of trading volume over the last week. Solana Monkey Business has a seven-day volume mark of $6.2 million as of this writing, placing it third on the list behind the aforementioned projects. Rapper and YouTube personality KSI also changed the avatar on his crypto-centric Twitter account to that of a Solana Monkey Business NFT today, as well.

Harvey did not tweet about the decision to change his profile picture to a Solana Monkey Business NFT. Decrypt has reached out to a representative for the comedian and will update this story if we hear back.

This isn’t Harvey’s first dalliance with NFTs or the crypto world. Back in May, Harvey partnered with NFT marketplace Rarible to sell his own NFTs to benefit charity—his own nonprofit Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation.

At the time, Harvey told Decrypt that he owned both Bitcoin and Ethereum. Could the Family Feud host be holding bags of Solana now, too?


The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.


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dYdX exchange releases governance token, making its airdrop worth up to $100K

Airdrops have been a fan-favorite in the cryptocurrency ecosystem for years because they offer projects a way to reward early adopters and increase token distribution.

The latest project to surprise its community of supporters with retroactive rewards for its newly minted token is dYdX, a non-custodial decentralized derivatives exchange that operates on a layer-2 version of the Ethereum (ETH) network.

Data from CoinGecko shows that on its first day of trading live in the markets, DYDX is trading at a price of $10.28 at the time of writing after hitting an intra-day high at $14.24.

DYDX/USD 5-min chart. Source: CoinGecko

The number of tokens received by each user was determined by their previous trading actively on the platform, with the lowest tier user receiving 310 tokens for trading at least $1 on the exchange, and the highest tier user earning 9,529 tokens for trading volumes exceeding $1 million. 

Airdrop token distribution. Source: dYdX Foundation

At the daily high of $14.24, the airdrop was worth between $4,414 and $135,692 with the average user who traded between $1,000 and $10,000 in value on the platform receiving 1,163 DYDX worth $16,561.

Related: Ethereum layer-twos reportedly processing more transactions than Bitcoin

The ongoing shift to layer-two solutions

The retroactive ‘release’ of the DYDX governance token marks a big step for the protocol as it embarks on its path to becoming a fully decentralized, community-governed platform. It is and another sign of a larger shift by a growing number of projects shifting to layer-two solutions in order to operate in a lower fee environment.

Many blockchain projects are migrating to various cross-chain and layer-two solutions like Polygon and dYdX was actually one of the first decentralized exchanges to announce that it would launch on StarkWare, a layer-two solution it developed in conjunction with StarkEx.

According to


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Bitcoin-Hungry Ukraine Moves to Legalize Cryptocurrency

In brief

  • The Ministry of Digital Transformation drafted legislation that would legalize cryptocurrency within Ukraine.
  • The bill has passed a major hurdle on the way to becoming law.

The Ukrainian Parliament today voted to make cryptocurrency legal within the country and allow crypto exchanges to officially operate in the country.

Cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, have heretofore been in a legal gray area in Ukraine, the seventh-most-populous country in Europe. Nonetheless, blockchain data firm Chainalysis ranked Ukrainians the top adopters of cryptocurrency in the world in September 2020.

If the bill indeed is signed into law, banks will be free to take on crypto company accounts, while citizens who own it will have legal protections in case of theft.

The Ministry of Digital Transformation, created in 2019 to improve digital literacy and online access, drafted the legislation and will be responsible for implementing the law, which is expected to go into effect this fall after the tax code is amended and the president signs the legislation.

Ukraine’s nominal GDP isn’t proportional to its population, ranking 23rd of 46 countries, according to a 2019 report from the International Monetary Fund. The Ministry would like to drive that number up by attracting crypto businesses.

“In particular, the adoption of specialized legislation is going to stimulate the attraction of foreign exchanges to the Ukrainian market,” said Deputy Minister Oleksander Bornyakov in a press release shared with Decrypt. “It will become a powerful incentive for the further development of the crypto-sphere in Ukraine.”

That’s especially important in Eastern Europe, where crypto adoption is high if not, strictly speaking, always legal or regulated. In its report, Chainalysis noted high degrees of corruption and asset seizure in Ukraine, as well as falling trust in banks. Citizens have turned to cryptocurrency to protect their assets, sending $8.2 billion in crypto last year. Regulated exchanges and crypto businesses could drive that number upward.

The Ministry of Digital Transformation has been active on the crypto front for months. In January, it forged an agreement with the Stellar Development Foundation to develop a central bank digital currency—a virtual version of the hryvnia—which the National Bank of Ukraine began researching four years ago. As part of the agreement, which the Ministry pitched as a way to make the country more competitive in the Eastern European market, Stellar would help in developing regulations and cryptocurrency infrastructure.


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Crypto Analyst Who Predicted Bitcoin Rejection at $52,000 Says the Worst of the Carnage Is Over

A popular crypto strategist and trader believes that Bitcoin is ready to regain its bullish momentum.

The pseudonymous trader, known in the industry as Credible Crypto, tells his 235,800 followers that Bitcoin is not in a bear market even after the king crypto’s drop to a 30-day low of $43,285.



“No, we aren’t magically in a bear market now lol. This was just the region from which we were ‘most likely to see a mid-term rejection.’

We’ve had this level on our radar for nearly two months now. Relax, zoom out, and stack sats (satoshis).”

Source: Credible Crypto/Twitter

The analyst references a forecast that he posted back in June where he accurately predicted that Bitcoin will climb above $50,000 before going through a steep correction.

According to the trader’s chart, BTC is forming a large symmetrical triangle. Should BTC follow Credible’s script, the king crypto could potentially revisit $50,000 and then retrace to $45,000 before launching a rally to a new all-time high.

With the mid-term rejection in place, Credible says he’s looking to buy altcoins as he believes the worst of the correction is over.

“Considering most of my [altcoins] just hit their buy zones, I’m inclined to think the worst of the carnage is over.”

One altcoin on the trader’s radar is XRP, which he says has bounced after hitting his buy area.

“This was just a buy-the-dip opportunity. Those who watched my last Youtube video on $XRP will remember the ‘wick zone.’ Clearly, it did its job.”

Source: Credible/Twitter

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Bitfinex To Roll Out Security Token Offerings (STOs) Platform In Kazakhstan

The new Bitfinex STO trading platform is now ready to operate in Kazakhstan. It will allow investors access the tokenized securities and blockchain-based equities.

Popular Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange has announced its plans to launch a trading platform that focuses on STOs (Security Token Offerings).

Bitfinex recently announced that they scheduled the new platform to operate in compliance with Kazakhstan financial laws. This is in line with the provision of (AFSA) Astana Financial Services Authority.

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The Security Token Offerings exchange is also known as Bitfinex Securities Ltd. Its launch is seen as one of the company’s efforts in supporting the growth of the world’s financial industry.

Securities Features And Offerings of Bitfinex

Bitfinex Securities is to run a 24/7 operation similar to others in the digital market. The company deployed technologies that will boost efficiency, reduce transaction costs and enhance the success rate on the platform.

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Investors will have the opportunity of accessing an International Security trading market via the STO platform. Interested investors will also have the opportunity of diversifying their portfolios. In addition, the STO will provide them access to varieties of financial products like bonds and equities.

Issuers of the Security tokens take advantage of the platform when they raise capital through the tokenized security offerings. The information was according to an announcement, and the idea was to raise capital.

The Bitfinex Chief Technology Officer stated that the STO exchange seeks to offer a positive contribution. It will assist the trading platform in becoming the best of its kind in the world.

Paolo Ardoino added that Bitfinex Securities Ltd offers a new regulated platform that serves medium-cap and small companies. It targets the ones that are currently underserved by already existing capital markets that are inefficient.

Restricted Countries

Kazakhstan will regulate the exchange. It will allow global investors to trade different tokenized securities publicly.

However, investors in Canada, Switzerland, Australia,  the British Virgin Islands, the United States, Italy, and Venezuela have restrictions. According to the legal statement from Bitfinex, they are not allowed to utilize the platform.

Related Reading | Survey Shows 25% Of US Teens Prefer Cryptocurrency Investment

More so, other countries under the embargo of Iran, Kazakhstan, the United States, and Cuba, etc., are also restricted access.

Rising Demand For Tokenized Securities

A security token is an investment contract representing real-life assets such as digital artwork and real estate.

The popularity of this asset class is increasing among investors, with various crypto-related firms joining the market. These firms offer different tokenized securities.

Traditional financial institutions have noticed the increasing demand for these securities. As a result, they have started issuing their security tokens like other crypto-related companies.

Featured Image From Pixabay


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After El Salvador, Pressure Increases for Competing Nations To Acquire Bitcoin: Whistleblower Edward Snowden

Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee and famed whistleblower Edward Snowden commented on the implications of Bitcoin (BTC) being adopted as a currency by El Salvador yesterday.

According to the cybersecurity expert, competing nations may regret hesitating to also adopt Bitcoin.



“Bitcoin was formally recognized as legal tender in its first country. There is now pressure on competing nations to acquire Bitcoin – even if only as a reserve asset – as its design massively incentivizes early adoption. Latecomers may regret hesitating.”

Privacy advocate Snowden is not alone in his claim, with influential institutions such as JP Morgan and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) in agreement with his prediction.

Despite doubting whether El Salvador would benefit economically from Bitcoin use, JP Morgan suggested that the move might be “the beginning of a broader trend among similarly situated, smaller nations.”

CABEI notes that “the world is moving in a highly digitalized direction,” and executive president Dr. Dante Mossi acknowledged the organization’s intent to bolster El Salvador’s new initiative.

“We are preparing an expert-led technical assistance package to support the country’s economic authorities, harmonizing the needs of users, helping to prevent illicit activities, and avoiding any undesirable impact on financial stability and monetary policy.”

Some of the world’s most widely recognized brand names are quickly adapting to Bitcoin’s new status as legal tender in El Salvador, with both Starbucks and McDonald’s locations accepting BTC as payment.

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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 27,799.45 1.28%
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Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 234.05 2.20%