Central African Republic Adopts Bitcoin as Legal Tender, Second Country Following El Salvador

Central African Republic (CAR) has officially adopted Bitcoin (BTC) as a legal tender in the country.


The move was ushered in with the unanimous adoption of the premier digital currency by the country’s lawmakers, who noted that the coin will now operate in correlation with the CFA franc.

As confirmed by the Chief of Staff to President Faustin Archange Touadera, Obed Namsio said the bill has been signed into law by the President. According to Namsio, the Central African Republic “is the first country in Africa to adopt bitcoin as legal tender,” Namsio said, adding that “This move places the Central African Republic on the map of the world’s boldest and most visionary countries.”

The CAR is one of the least economically buoyant countries in the world whose economy is solely dependent on mining. With the new legal tender, citizens, as well as businesses, will be able to transact in the digital currency, a trend that will be markedly different from other African nations, like Nigeria, known to have banned financial institutions working in the country from having business relationships with crypto trading service providers.

Indirectly Defying International Bodies?

While not much is known about the proceedings leading to the adoption of BTC as legal tender in CAR, the stance of the World Bank as well as those of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is known through their objection to a related move made by El Salvador pre and post-September 7 last year.

Taking a cue from El Salvador, there has been a significant investment in digital currencies as President Nayib Bukele is known to always buy the dip – stacking up new Bitcoin units in periods of price corrections, a luxury that the CAR may not have.

There are a series of surveys that also suggest the BTC adoption in El Salvador is not as popular as widely publicized by the government. While still in its infancy, the CAR Bitcoin journey is one that is worth watching out for.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / /

No Chivo Wallet Downloads in El Salvador This Year, Study Shows

EL SA2.jpgEl Salvador is the first country in the world to accept Bitcoin (BTC) as a legal tender back in September 2021.

While the President, Nayib Bukele gained popularity through the publishing of sterling data about the adoption of the cryptocurrency from September through the end of the Fourth Quarter, a new study shows the enthusiasm for the crypto adoption in El Salvador does not as promising as painted.

Shocking Reveals of the Study on El Salvador

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), sponsors of the research claimed there have been virtually no Chivo wallets downloads this year. The Bureau noted that the downloads of the wallet were done primarily in order to gain access to the $30 incentive offered by the government.

Per the study, access to the Chivo wallet was not widespread as only citizens with access to mobile phones and the internet, of which almost 90% of the respondents deemed to use no mobile banking. The study revealed that September accounts for exactly 40% of all downloads.

“Most downloads took place just as Chivo was launched. In fact, 40% of all downloads happened in September 2021, and virtually no downloads have taken place in 2022. The main driver of adoption is reported to be the $30 bonus offered by the government, equivalent to 0.7% of annual income per capita,” the report highlights.

At the time when the country announced Bitcoin is a legal tender, many citizens took to the streets in riots, as they criticize their president as a dictator. The protests recorded in the initial period played out over time as many refused to download the Chivo wallet at all owing to distrust for the regime and their data, the NBER study corroborates.

More Rocky Headwinds?

There are numerous Bitcoin-linked plans that have been set out by El Salvador as unveiled by President Bukele. While most of the plans, including the scheduled Bitcoin bonds that are expected to be issued as well as the planned construction of a Bitcoin City, have still not been achieved.

Despite the broad support of the crypto community, the question is whether El Salvador is on the right track with its Bitcoin as a legal tender pursuit in the first place.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / /

Nayib Bukele Criticises U.S. Does Not “Stand for Freedom”, the Senate Comm Passes ACES Bill

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele has lashed out at the United States Government after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the Accountability for Cryptocurrency in El Salvador Act (ACES) Bill, which is now slated to head to the full house for voting.


The ACES Bill seeks to monitor how El Salvador implements its Bitcoin law which grants the digital currency a legal status alongside the United States Dollar.

The bill will grant relevant U.S. agencies the right to monitor the impact of BTC as a legal tender on the country’s macroeconomic stability and public finances. It will also assess the role of Bitcoin in the rule of law in the country and its democratic governance. While the date of voting in the bigger house has not been announced, the bill grants the agencies the right to peek into the most salient aspects of monetary governance, including whether the country is adhering to relevant anti-money laundering rules.

Lamenting on Twitter, Nayib Bukele said he never dreamt of a time when the U.S. government would be scared of the work that is being done in the Central American nation. Bukele said the U.S. government does not support freedom as is popularly being said of the North American nation.

“The U.S. Government DOES NOT stand for freedom, which is a proven fact. So we will stand for freedom. Game on!” Bukele said in a tweet.

El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as a legal tender has always met with resistance from prominent intergovernmental organizations. While the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are amongst those who have expressed pessimism concerning the country’s Bitcoin adoption move, the likely passage of the ACES Bill by the U.S. Senate has formed a more unsettling struggle for the El Salvadoran president.

Either way, things play out, Bukele is still arguably committed to Bitcoin’s financial freedom.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / /

El Salvador Delays the Issuance of Bitcoin Bonds

El Salvador will delay the issuance of bitcoin bonds initially scheduled for March 15-20, possibly until September, according to Reuters.

Webp.net-resizeimage - 2022-03-23T174612.661.jpg

Due to the recent war between Russia and Ukraine, the cryptocurrency has experienced wild volatility.

El Salvador’s Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya said Tuesday that authorities had changed the date to wait for favourable conditions for better financial markets.

In November last year, El Salvador President Nayib Bukele disclosed that the bond would be valued at $1 billion with a 6.5% coupon. 

The launch may be delayed until September. Alejandro Zelaya added that:

“In May or June the market variants are a little different. At the latest in September. After September, if you go out to the international market, it is difficult (to raise capital),”

El Salvador’s administration plans to send approximately twenty bills to Congress to cover investment in securities and financial markets to provide a legal framework for the issuance of Bitcoin bonds on January 5.

The bitcoin bond was not issued directly by the government but by the state-owned thermal energy company La Geo, but the state of El Salvador sovereignly guaranteed it.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / /

Is Mexico the Next to Legalize Bitcoin? Senator Indira Kempis Drops a Hint

Mexican Senator Indira Kempis is set to send a bill to Congress which will seek to legalize Bitcoin (BTC) as a legal tender in the country, in a bid to trail El Salvador.


As reported by online media “El Salvador in English”, the Senator is determined to sponsor the bill this year, believing that failure to adopt the digital currency now can hurt the plans to bring financial equality in the future.

“I have surrounded myself with several people who have worked with bitcoin for years. I have a community of entrepreneurs, of technologists, and of friends who are very knowledgeable and have told me for a long time, ‘you have to be and you have to be part of this world’ And now that I am participating in politics, I seek to promote it,” Senator Kempis said.

According to the lawmaker, Since El Salvador has legalized Bitcoin that has successfully shifted the narratives from the country previously dominated by violence and crimes. She commended that El Salvador is now been looked at in a whole new light.

“It is a historic opportunity that this type of project is being carried out in a Central American country. Every time El Salvador was discussed, it was always to address issues of migration, violence, and organized crime, and now the world’s gaze is not on those public problems, but because of this great call at a global level with bitcoin,” she said.

Besides harnessing the technological advances of Bitcoin and the blockchain tech upon which it is built, Senator Kempis is optimistic that the digital currency can serve as a hotbed for multinational digital assets companies to come set up offices in Mexico.

El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as its legal tender alongside the US Dollar was accompanied by a lot of bold decisions. As Senator Kempis considers the Bitcoin-centric bill proposal, considerations for the rebuttal from both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank should also be factored in.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / /

El Salvador Tourism Sector Surges 30%, Benefit from Adopting Bitcoin for Legal Tender

El Salvador is leaping the dividends of making Bitcoin (BTC) legal tender, given that the nation’s tourism industry has recorded a 30% surge since this milestone was attained in September 2021. 

Morena Valdez, the Minister of Tourism, stipulated the sector was experiencing exponential growth because expectations had been exceeded, according to the local media outlet El Salvador in English.

Valdez added:

“We did a poll to check the activity according to the before and after of Bitcoin. The tourism sector increased in November and December. This increased by more than 30%.”

With the United States contributing the lion’s share of tourists at 60%, the minister acknowledged that the target of 1.1 million visitors had been surpassed by 300,000.

President Nayib Bukele said the tourism industry, the second-largest sector in the country, boosted the economy in 2021 as income from this sector continues to soar.

Valdez pointed out:

“We had projected $800,000 in foreign exchange; but we obtained more than $1.4 million of income in foreign currency.”

This notable growth is linked to the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender on El Salvador soil because it officially became a medium of payment alongside the U.S. dollar. 

Since then, the Central American nation has made significant strides in the BTC space. For instance, earlier this year, it looked at the issuance of Bitcoin bonds through a raft of legislation. 

As Bitcoiners continue eyeing to relocate to El Salvador, President Bukele is pushing various policy reforms to grant Citizenship by Investment to foreign investors. 

The President revealed that he would be sending nearly 52 reforms to the country’s Congress to remove the red tape, reduce bureaucracy, create tax incentives, and aid citizenship in exchange for investments, new securities laws, stability contracts.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / / / / /

El Salvador to Reform Laws to Favor Citizenship through Investment

Bitcoiners are looking to migrate to El Salvador for its reception to the crypto world may soon get more than just the warm reception. President Nayib Bukele is pushing for a number of policy reforms that will grant Citizenship by Investment to foreign investors. 

Webp.net-resizeimage - 2022-02-22T104011.266.jpg

As contained in a recent tweet shared by President Bukele, he said he would be sending as many as 52 reforms to the country’s Congress so as to “remove red tape, reduce bureaucracy, create tax incentives, citizenship in exchange for investments, new securities laws, stability contracts,” adding that the country will seek to be a haven for freedom for anyone even as the rest of the world resorts to tyranny. In his own words;

“The plan is simple: as the world falls into tyranny, we’ll create a haven for freedom.”

El Salvador is a delight of many in the digital currency ecosystem, especially in regards to the proactive and advocate nature of Nayib Bukele when it comes to Bitcoin. First, he piloted the Central American nation to become the first in the world to adopt BTC as a legal tender. Then, he unveiled plans to float a volcanic energy plant dedicated to the mining of Bitcoin, and he also has plans to construct a full-fledged Bitcoin City, with decentralized and financial freedom being amongst the defining features.

Despite the country’s positive stance toward crypto, it has had a falling out with international organizations, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), both of whom have shared concerns about the country’s BTC adoption plans.

Fitch Ratings has also downgraded El Salvador’s credit ratings recently as the financial institution said the country has struggled with repaying its short-term debts. The purported plans by Nayib Bukele to incentivize investments made into the country is arguably a seemingly smart move that can attract crypto companies as well as traditional companies to the country.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / /

Fitch Downgraded El Salvador’s Rating Citing Bitcoin Adoption Risks

Fitch cited policy unpredictability stemming out of the increased concentration of power in the presidency, weakening institutions, and the legalization and adoption of Bitcoin as the reason for lowering the rank.

Reasons Behind The Move

As per the official post, “heightened” financing risks arising from growing dependency on short-term debt reflects Fitch’s move of downgrading El Salvador.

It also pointed out the limited scope of the country’s domestic market financing as well as uncertain access to additional multilateral funding and external market financing considering high borrowing costs. Increased concerns with respect to debt sustainability due to the expected increase in GDP next year after modest improvement in 2021 is yet another factor.

It stated,

“In Fitch’s view, weakening of institutions and concentration of power in the presidency has increased policy unpredictability, and the adoption of bitcoin as legal tender has added uncertainty about the potential for an IMF program that would unlock financing for 2022-2023.”

Fitch stated that El Salvador continues to face growing risks caused by high and increasing financing needs in 2022-2023. It further estimated that the Central American country’s total financing needs would total to a whopping $4.85 billion in 2022, meaning a 16% increase in GDP.


Another 18% rise in GDP to $5.4 billion is also expected. In terms of financing options in the local market, the rating firm noted that the domestic private pension funds and banks have a restricted appetite for growing their exposure to such instruments.

It also observed “uncertainty” around external financing options, including multilateral funding, as well as doubts over an IMF program, in addition to El Salvador’s capacity to issue “bitcoin-backed bonds.”

El Salvador’s Ambitious Bitcoin Bond Issuance Plans

Earlier this week, El Salvador’s finance minister Alejandro Zelaya announced plans to issue Bitcoin Bonds between March 15 and 20. During the interview with the local news outlet, Zelaya also confirmed that the government will issue $1 billion for the first bond.

Besides, cryptocurrency peer-to-peer platform, Paxful earlier launched a Bitcoin education center in the country. The main objective behind the creation of the new center, dubbed ‘La Casa Del Bitcoin,’ is to foster awareness around the benefits of buying and selling BTC as a means of exchange for the El Salvadoreans.


Binance Free $100 (Exclusive): Use this link to register and receive $100 free and 10% off fees on Binance Futures first month (terms).

PrimeXBT Special Offer: Use this link to register & enter POTATO50 code to receive up to $7,000 on your deposits.

You Might Also Like:


Tagged : / / / / /

Top Latin American exchange Bitso officially expands to Colombia

Bitso, a major Latin American cryptocurrency exchange and El Salvador’s crypto wallet assistant firm, has announced its formal launch in Colombia.

As part of Bitso’s development strategy in Colombia, the exchange has hired former Mastercard executive Emilio Pardo as new country manager, the firm announced to Cointelegraph on Thursday.

Pardo is former head of business development for the Andean Region at Mastercard, where he focused on fintech issues like instant and cross-border financial transactions and open banking. He will now be responsible for developing Bitso’s strategy in Colombia to increase the local crypto adoption and financial inclusion, focusing on Bitso’s strategic basics including education and security.

According to Pardo, Latin America is now going through one of the most important moments in the adoption of cryptocurrencies, and Colombia is not an exception. The growing crypto adoption will not only benefit Colombia’s financial ecosystem, but will also help educate and address the needs of our customers and fellow citizens, he noted.

Bitso’s Colombian operations are regulated by a major local financial authority, the Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia, or SFC. According to the announcement, the SFC granted Bitso with authorization to operate within la Arenera, the regulatory framework of its sandbox and crypto pilot program in late 2021.

Under this framework, Bitso started working in partnership with Colombia’s first commercial bank, Banco de Bogotá, in 2021 to trial the exchange’s products and services.

“As an end-to-end regulated crypto platform, we can ensure that this opportunity is putting Colombia at the forefront of innovation and regulation,” Pardo said. He added that the crypto exchange is testing its products within a regulation framework that takes into consideration the entire ecosystem of financial services, including banks, exchanges, regulators and end users.

Related: Colombia clamps down on crypto tax evasion as adoption thrives

Founded in 2014 in Mexico, Bitso is one of the biggest crypto exchanges in Latin America, allowing users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The exchange has been growing massively in recent years, expanding to Argentina in February 2020 and then entering Brazil in April 2021.

The exchange is also present in El Salvador, which officially adopted Bitcoin as legal tender in September 2021. Bitso specifically cooperated with Silvergate to facilitate United States dollar transactions for El Salvador’s official Bitcoin (BTC) wallet, Chivo wallet, at launch.