World Bank rejected on Wednesday (16) a request for help from the government of El Salvador, to implement Bitcoin as legal tender in that country. According to the international financial institution, the request “is not something the World Bank can support, given the environmental and transparency deficiencies.”
Last week, the Central American country became the first nation in the world to officially adopt cryptocurrency, amid statements by President Nayib Bukele praising Bitcoin’s potential. Yesterday morning, Salvadoran Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya told Reuters that the idea is to use Bitcoin as a parallel currency to the US dollar.
The World Bank’s refusal could mean that there are difficulties encountered by El Salvador’s monetary authorities in ensuring that digital currency is accepted throughout the country. In an email to Reuters, a spokesman for the bank declared emblematically that the institution would be committed to helping the country “in a number of ways, including monetary transparency and regulatory processes”.
The IMF Reaction
While it has thrilled digital currency enthusiasts around the world, President Bukele’s Bitcoin bill, already passed by Congress, has received intense criticism. On Wednesday, Johns Hopkins University economist Steve Hanke said in a statement that the legal use of cryptocurrency could “completely collapse the economy” of El Salvador.
Another obstacle to the unrestricted adoption of Bitcoin in the country are negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Despite Zelaya’s statements, assuring that the institution “was not against”, the truth is that the IMF has no interest in the official implementation of the cryptocurrency.
Despite all the setbacks, President Bukele continues to act as if nothing is happening: in a conversation with operator Athena Bitcoin posted on Twitter, the company asks if the executive would be interested in installing a thousand ATMs to exchange coins for bitcoins. “Thousand? How about 1.5 thousand?”, proposed the excited president.