El Salvador's Bitcoin Bill Gets Congressional Approval, But Skeptics Voice Their Concerns

El Salvador’s Bitcoin Bill was first publicized last weekend during the Bitcoin Miami 2021 Conference. It proposes to regulate Bitcoin as legal tender, therefore integrating it with the country’s official currency, the U.S dollar.

Yesterday, the Bill was passed before Congress to seek approval. Anthony Pompliano called it a “historic day for humanity.” The latest reports suggest that the Bill has now been approved. But doubts on both the Bill itself and the suitability of El Salvador as a Bitcoin hub remain.

President Bukele Sees Bitcoin As The Path To Economic Prosperity

President Nayib Bukele surprised the world on Saturday when he announced plans to make Bitcoin legal tender in the Central American nation.

He spoke about the benefits of helping migrants living abroad send remittances home. And also how this could improve the lives of millions by bringing economic growth and financial inclusion to the country.

“In the short term this will generate jobs and help provide financial inclusion to thousands outside the formal economy.”

The move has triggered a flood of neighboring Latin American countries to signal their intent to follow suit. So far, the list of countries that may emulate El Salvador includes Brazil, Paraguay, Panama, and Mexico.

Skeptics Sharpen Their Knives

According to CNBC, El Salvador becomes the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender officially. Lawmakers voted by a “supermajority” in favor of the Bill. However, the Bill still needs to pass through the legislative process before becoming law.

Even so, during discussions, several lawmakers raised their objections to the Bill. Including Congressman Reyes, who spoke about the lack of discussion on the matter, the Bill having only 16 articles, price volatility, and the risky nature of the proposal.

Gold-bug Peter Schiff took the opportunity to continue his anti-Bitcoin rhetoric. He said the leading cryptocurrency would never to used as a payment method or in financial accounting terms. Adding, the whole thing was a setup to attract Bitcoin companies to El Salvador.

“it’s a non event. #Bitcoin will never be used as a medium of exchange or unit of account. The sole purpose of the symbolic gesture is to get Bitcoin companies to set up shop, pay taxes and create some jobs, while allowing Bitcoin pumpers to exaggerate the significance.”

As much as President Bukele has extended his welcome to cryptocurrency investors and entrepreneurs, doubts remain about the country’s safety.

Travel advice from the U.K Foreign Office mentioned that although the country is relatively “trouble free,” El Salvador has one of the highest crime rates in Latin America. It also raised issues with ongoing political tension in the country and a recent motion to remove judges from the constitutional chamber.

“On 1 May, motions carried by the Legislative Assembly to remove the judges who sit in the constitutional chamber of the nation’s Supreme Court and the Attorney General led to calls for protests.”

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