Bitcoin is now ‘legal tender’ in El Salvador

A Bitcoin bill aiming to make the world’s cryptocurrency classified as ‘legal tender’ has been passed by the Congress in El Salvador today.

“I’ve just sent the #BitcoinLaw to Congress,” President Nayib Bukele wrote earlier today, attaching a copy of the document (see below). He later discussed the bill in a public conversation with popular crypto fund manager Nic Carter in a Twitter ‘Spaces’ session attended by over 15,000 people.

El Salvador is a small nation in South America, known mainly for its coffee, tourism, and manufacturing industry. The past weekend, however, saw president Bukele publicly announce his intention to float a Bitcoin-friendly bill to Congress, one that sees the world’s largest cryptocurrency (by market cap) become ‘legal tender’ in the country.

Bitcoin: From magic money to serious money

‘Legal tender’ is any coin or banknote that can be accepted if offered in payment of a debt in a country. This is different from real estate or personal assets (they can’t be legally exchanged for goods and services).

Bitcoin, so far, has existed either as illegal magic internet money or as ‘property’ in the eyes of most jurisdictions. No country has accepted the currency as legal tender, but El Salvador has now changed that.

Merchants in the country can accept Bitcoin similar to how they accepted US dollars. As such, Bukele seems pumped on the promise of what the asset can do. “We not only want to support it [bitcoin], but we want to demonstrate that the world can benefit from it,” he said, adding, “El Salvador is not only a country anymore. It is a symbol of what bitcoin can do.”

Meanwhile, those interested in moving to the country can expect a bunch of other benefits. In a tweet earlier this week, Bukele said that there will now be capital gains tax for Bitcoin as it will be a legal currency, and that all crypto entrepreneurs would receive “immediate permanent residence.”

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editorial staff