The World Bank has refused to provide technical assistance to El Salvador in implementing bitcoin as legal tender. The bank cited bitcoin’s “environmental and transparency shortcomings” as the reason.
World Bank Won’t Help El Salvador With Bitcoin Law
The World Bank said on Wednesday it cannot help El Salvador implement the law making bitcoin legal tender. A World Bank spokesperson told Reuters, “We are committed to helping El Salvador in numerous ways including for currency transparency and regulatory processes,” elaborating:
While the government did approach us for assistance on bitcoin, this is not something the World Bank can support given the environmental and transparency shortcomings.
El Salvador has become the first country in the world to make bitcoin legal tender after its congress passed President Nayib Bukele’s bitcoin bill last week.
On Wednesday, The finance minister of El Salvador, Alejandro Zelaya, said that the country has sought technical assistance from the World Bank to implement the law to use bitcoin as parallel legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar.
Zelaya also said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is “not against” El Salvador implementing bitcoin as legal tender after he explained that his country will not abandon the U.S. dollar. “We gave our official position to the IMF. We have been emphatic, we are not replacing the US dollar as legal tender in El Salvador,” the finance minister said during a news conference. However, an IMF spokesperson said there are “macroeconomic, financial and legal issues” with El Salvador’s bitcoin law.
Meanwhile, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), which has 15 member countries, said it will provide technical assistance to help El Salvador implement bitcoin as legal tender. CABEI Executive President Dante Mossi said he is very optimistic about this move by El Salvador.
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