- The US Congress appears to be concerned about El Salvador’s decision to accept Bitcoin as legal currency.
- The senators formed the “El Salvador Cryptocurrency Accountability Act” to examine the impacts of the Bitcoin law.
- The bill was first proposed on 18th February, but recently came to light after El Salvador President Nayib Bukele expressed astonishment over the bill.
Many crypto enthusiasts supported El Salvador’s decision to legalize the use of Bitcoin. However, the US government is seemingly concerned about the impact of such a decision, especially on the US dollar.
US Senate proposes ACES
In February 2022, three US senators – James Risch (R-Idaho), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) – introduced a bill titled “Accountability for Cryptocurrency in El Salvador (ACES) Act” to examine and mitigate any impact El Salvador’s Bitcoin law would have on the US financial system, given that the country also uses the US dollar.
As El Salvador has made Bitcoin a legal currency, it’s critical that we understand and minimize risk to the US financial system.
If approved, the bill would require the State and Treasury Departments as well as other federal agencies such as the Office of Foreign Assets Control to avert risks like China’s empowerment and criminal organizations. It will also examine whether the Bitcoin law in the country could help US-sanctioned countries like Russia to evade existing embargoes.
President Bukele says the US is afraid
The bill passed out on Wednesday, and it’s expected to be voted on by the Senate soon. While reacting to the news, the president of El Salvador Nayib Bukele said, “never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that the US Government would be afraid of what we are doing here.”
While it seems the proposed bill from the US Senate might interfere with cryptocurrency usage in El Salvador, some experts think that the US government is overreacting to the news and that the bill is more likely symbolic than anything else. ACES seeks to understand and protect the US from risks; however, president Bukele clearly doesn’t welcome the idea from the onset.
Noteworthily, this won’t be the first time the country faces opposition to adopting Bitcoin as a legal tender. In recent months, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have condemned Bitcoin in El Salvador. However, despite such naysayers, President Bukele has defied them and maintained his firm enthusiasm about Bitcoin.
El Salvador and Bitcoin
Since the past year, El Salvador has marked a milestone development in promoting cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin. The small Central American country has been in the news for being the first to officially recognize Bitcoin as a legal tender and also having a reserve in the crypto asset. Recently, the country announced it would be hosting the Blockchain festival, the first of its kind in Latin America.
The event is aimed at promoting the responsible use of blockchain technology and raising awareness about the benefits of cryptocurrency payments. The festival will also feature a number of workshops and panel discussions with industry experts from around the world.