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10 Jun 2021

IMF: El Salvador’s bitcoin legal tender move raises ‘macroeconomic, financial and legal issues’

IMF: El Salvador’s bitcoin legal tender move raises ‘macroeconomic, financial and legal issues’

A spokesperson for the International Monetary Fund said ahead of a meeting with Nayib Bukele, president of El Salvador, that the country's newly enshrined bitcoin law "raises a number of macroeconomic, financial and legal issues that require very careful analysis."

Early Wednesday, El Salvador's Congress approved a law proposed by Bukele that declares bitcoin as legal tender in the country includes mandates for bitcoin acceptance as payments. It also lays the groundwork for government involvement in fostering the use of bitcoin in El Salvador. Bukele has made plain in a series of public statements that he aims to attract crypto companies to El Salvador. 

Speaking during a Twitter Space appearance, Bukele said that the bitcoin law would be discussed in a meeting with the IMF. 

According to Reuters, IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice told reporters on Thursday that “[a]doption of bitcoin as legal tender raises a number of macroeconomic, financial and legal issues that require very careful analysis. We are following developments closely, and we’ll continue our consultations with the authorities.”

El Salvador is said to be seeking more than $1 billion in loans from the IMF as part of a proposed, three-year credit facility, according to a Reuters report from March. The effort followed legislative victories by Bukele's political party that gave it majority control over the country's legislature.

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