(Bloomberg) – Naibib Bukele from El Salvador, the youngest president of Latin America, who is known to be deviating from the norms, said he plans to send legislation that would make bitcoin a legal tender in the country.
“In the short term, this will generate jobs and help ensure the financial inclusion of thousands outside the formal economy,” Bukele said in a video broadcast of the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami. He said he would submit a bill for the bill next week.
In a series of tweets, the 39-year-old leader said bitcoin could help boost the economy. The low bank penetration rate in El Salvador ̵
“Financial inclusion is not only a moral imperative, but also a way to grow the country’s economy by providing access to credit, savings, investment and secure transactions,” he said. “We hope that this decision will be just the beginning in providing a space where some of the leading innovators can rethink the future of finance.”
El Salvador’s bonds collapsed last month after Bukele’s party used the over-majority it won in the February congressional election to fire five top judges and the chief prosecutor, condemning what critics saw as a blatant snatch. power. Wall Street reacted quickly, with Oppenheimer & Co., Amherst Pierpont Securities and Allianz SE among the half-dozen companies that sold the banknotes or told customers to cut back.
The move also fueled concerns that the United States would urge the International Monetary Fund to take a closer look at a much-needed loan to El Salvador that could affect government finances.
Bukele is among the most popular leaders in the region, according to opinion polls, which show that he has an approval rating of over 85%. He has strong social media who follow and chart an unconventional path to politics, working in his father’s marketing agency before serving as mayor of San Salvador and the suburbs. He ran for president in 2018, promising to curb corruption and frantic crimes fueled by the gang, and became the first president in nearly 30 years to win without the support of one of the main parties.
Jack Mahlers, founder and CEO of the payment platform Strike, presented the video to Bukele during Saturday’s meeting. He said the El Salvador government had asked him to help develop a plan to use bitcoin, according to the Twitter account of the Bitcoin 2021 conference on Twitter.
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(Updates with Bukele comments all the time.)
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