Last week we broke the news that El Salvador had decided to make Bitcoin official tender in the country – and this next bit will surprise you…a lot.
The World Bank has rejected a request from El Salvador to help with the implementation of Bitcoin as legal tender, citing concerns over transparency and the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining.
Earlier this month, the Central American country announced plans to become the first nation to formally adopt the digital currency, aiming to use Bitcoin as a parallel legal tender alongside the US dollar.
The World Bank’s decision could mean the country faces problems in hitting its deadline to ensure that Bitcoin is accepted nationwide in the next three months.
“We are committed to helping El Salvador in numerous ways including for currency transparency and regulatory processes,” a World Bank spokesperson told the Reuters news agency.
“While the government did approach us for assistance on Bitcoin, this is not something the World Bank can support given the environmental and transparency shortcomings,” they added.
It comes after El Salvador’s Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya said on Wednesday that the country had asked the World Bank for technical assistance with the implementation of the cryptocurrency as an official method of payment.
Mr Zelaya also said that discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have been successful, saying the IMF was “not against” the implementation of Bitcoin.
But the IMF last week said it saw “macroeconomic, financial and legal issues” with El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin.
El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele announced by video at a June 5 cryptocurrency revival meeting in Miami that his country plans to adopt bitcoin as legal tender.
With his blessing, El Salvador’s Congress wasted little time passing the Bitcoin Law.
On June 8, with little debate, deputies approved the law by a wide margin in the middle of the night. El Salvador is the first country to pass such a law.