In an early Wednesday vote, a supermajority of the nation’s legislature voted in favor of President Nayib Bukele’s proposal for the Latin American nation to adopt bitcoin. The president intends to sign later tonight or early in the morning.
Bukele provided further details about his vision, pitched as an effort to boost financial inclusion in a country where a scant 30% of citizens have access to financial services, in a Twitter Space conversation early Wednesday morning hosted by Nic Carter of Castle Island Ventures and Coin Metrics. Users won’t necessarily have to use a government wallet, he said.
The bill will mandate all businesses to accept bitcoin for goods or services, but the government will act as a backstop for entities that aren’t willing to take on the risk of a volatile cryptocurrency, he said.
A trust that the government will set up at the Development Bank of El Salvador to instantly convert bitcoin to U.S. dollars will assume merchants’ risk, he said. It will hold about $150 million in dollars in the trust fund.