El Salvador moves to make bitcoin legal tender. It would become the first country to formally adopt the cryptocurrency as part of its economy.

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An important person tweeted about adopting bitcoin…and guess what? It wasn’t Elon Musk.

On Saturday, El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, said he’s going to send a bill to the legislature to make bitcoin a legal tender in the country. It’d be the first country to formally adopt the cryptocurrency as part of its economy.  

Why El Salvador? Much of the Central American country already operates outside the bounds of formal finance:

  • 70% of the population does not have a bank account.
  • 20% of the country’s GDP comes from remittances, which are payments sent by Salvadorans living abroad back to the country.

Bukele said that bitcoin could help streamline those cumbersome cross-border payments, while promoting “financial inclusion” for those left out of the system. 

Zoom out: There aren’t many details yet, and Bukele’s not sweating them. At 39 years old, he’s savvy with social media and extremely popular with his constituents—his approval rating is more than 85%. This bitcoin bill should easily pass. 

+ While we’re here: Bukele’s announcement came in a taped message delivered to the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami. Here’s a fun read describing the ridiculousness of the event. 

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