SAN SALVADOR, June 16 (Reuters) – El Salvador will not replace the US dollar with bitcoin as legal tender, Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya said on Wednesday as the Central American country requested technical assistance from the Bank world to implement bitcoin regulation.
The Central American country this month became the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, with President Nayib Bukele touting the potential of cryptocurrency as a transfer currency for Salvadorans abroad.
El Salvador has used the US dollar as legal tender for two decades after abandoning its own currency.
Finance Minister Zelaya said he clarified to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week that El Salvador would not abandon the US dollar and replace it with cryptocurrency.
“We gave our official position to the IMF. We have been adamant we are not replacing the US dollar as legal tender in El Salvador, ”Zelaya said at a press conference.
El Salvador is negotiating a loan with the IMF for a billion dollar program to close fiscal gaps through 2023.
Zelaya said El Salvador continues to negotiate with the IMF and called the talks a success.
El Salvador has also requested technical assistance from the World Bank on bitcoin rules and implementation, Zelaya said.
Reporting by Nelson Renteria in San Salvador Writing by Drazen Jorgic Editing by Matthew Lewis
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