US lawmakers target perceived risks of crypto adoption in El Salvador with reintroduced bill
Two United States Senators from opposite sides of the political aisle have reintroduced legislation from 2022 aimed at mitigating perceived risks posed by El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as a legal currency.
Congressional records showed Idaho Senator James Risch and New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez introduced “a bill to require reports on the adoption of cryptocurrency as legal tender in El Salvador” on May 11. The legislation appeared to be a second attempt at the Accountability for Cryptocurrency in El Salvador Act, which Risch introduced in February 2022, mere months after El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law went into effect.
According to a May 12 report from the Washington Examiner, Risch introduced the bill as part of efforts to fight using cryptocurrency as legal tender, claiming it could “weaken economic and financial stability and empower malign actors.” Bitcoin (BTC) has been accepted as legal tender in El Salvador alongside the national colon currency and the U.S. dollar since September 2021.
If passed, the bill could require federal agencies in the United States to report on El Salvador’s capabilities in cybersecurity and financial stability, and how these may have led to the passage of the country’s Bitcoin Law. The International Monetary Fund also warned the Central American nation in February to consider the risk of BTC as legal tender on the country’s financial integrity and stability.
The previous version of the Bitcoin-focused legislation introduced in the Senate passed through committee in April 2022. Lawmakers in the House of Representatives also introduced a companion bill, but according to congressional records the legislation has not moved in more than a year.
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El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele directly attacked U.S. lawmakers as “boomers” on Twitter the last time the bill was introduced, claiming they were attempting to interfere with “a sovereign and independent nation.” Under Bukele, the country has adopted many pro-crypto policies, including plans to raise funds to construct a ‘Bitcoin city’ using BTC-backed bonds.
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