El Salvador has become the first country in the world to formally adopt bitcoin as legal tender after its Congress approved President Nayib Bukele’s proposal to embrace the cryptocurrency.
With 62 out of 84 possible votes, a majority of lawmakers voted in favor of the initiative to create a law that will formally adopt bitcoin, despite concerns about the potential impact on El Salvador’s program with the International Monetary Fund.
Bukele had announced his intention to send proposed legislation to the country's congress during a recorded message to a Bitcoin conference in Miami on Saturday.
The 39-year-old president, who has maintained approval ratings above 90 per cent and made Twitter his preferred way of communicating, characterised it as an idea that could help El Salvador move forward.
"Next week I will send to Congress a bill that will make Bitcoin a legal tender in El Salvador," Bukele said. "In the short term this will generate jobs and help provide financial inclusion to thousands outside the formal economy and in the medium and long term we hope that this small decision can help us push humanity at least a tiny bit into the right direction."