Economy

IMF calls on El Salvador to halt use of Bitcoin as legal tender

Executive board stresses 'large risks' associated with Bitcoin use, including to financial stability, financial liabilities

Michael Hernandez   | 25.01.2022
IMF calls on El Salvador to halt use of Bitcoin as legal tender

WASHINGTON

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) "urged" the government of El Salvador to halt the use of Bitcoin as legal tender, citing what it said are "large risks" for that nation’s economy.

The fund's executive board emphasized during consultations with El Salvador that "there are large risks associated with the use of Bitcoin on financial stability, financial integrity, and consumer protection, as well as the associated fiscal contingent liabilities.”

"They urged the authorities to narrow the scope of the Bitcoin law by removing Bitcoin’s legal tender status. Some Directors also expressed concern over the risks associated with issuing Bitcoin-backed bonds," it added.

It seems unlikely, however, that the advice will be followed. El Salvador adopted the cryptocurrency as an official form of payment in September and President Nayib Bukele, a major crypto supporter, announced Friday that the country bought an additional 410 Bitcoins, which was worth about $15 million at the time.

Bitcoin currently sits above $37,000 following a tumultuous week for cryptocurrencies.

It fell to its lowest point since July on Monday, dipping below $33,000 before recovering.


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