Bill to make Bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador passed Congress with a supermajority
The President's bill to make Bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador passed Congress with a supermajority just before 6 AM UTC.
President Nayib Bukele said he would sign off on the historic law later tonight or first thing tomorrow, in a Twitter Spaces conversation with 22,000 listeners.
Bukele said, “It goes into effect immediately,” clarifying the government would allow 90 days for the infrastructure to be put into place.
He cited that accepting Bitcoin would be mandatory for all businesses. “They have to take it by law,” he said, “If you go to Mexico they have to take your pesos.”
“In the case of El Salvador Bitcoin is going to be legal tender just as the US Dollar.”
The president will be meeting with the International Monetary Fund on Thursday. The government will also be releasing an official Bitcoin wallet. The government intends to hold $150 million equivalent of Bitcoin in a trust fund in its development bank to assume the risks of merchants.
The country will give permanent residency for those who invest 3 BTC in El Salvador. While asked if the country would put Bitcoin in its reserve he said there, "I don't know this is evolving very fast. We're not ruling out having Bitcoin in our reserves in the near future."
Bukele said he hasn't thought about Bitcoin mining but was favorably disposed towards the idea of renewable energy Bitcoin mining.
The Bitcoin bill was submitted earlier today after Bukele tweeted that “I’ve just sent the Bitcoin Law to congress,” and uploaded copies of the bill in Spanish and English.
“The purpose of this law is to regulate Bitcoin as unrestricted legal tender with liberating power, unlimited in any transaction, and to any title that public or private natural or legal persons require carrying out,” the bill reads.
Additionally, the bill includes a list of interesting proposals such as zero capital gains tax on BTC, tax payments allowed in BTC, and economic agents must accept BTC as payment when offered by whoever purchases a good or service.
The state will provide the infrastructure that enables Bitcoin users to instantly convert from BTC to USD if need be, according to the bill.
Furthermore, the state will provide training and mechanisms to aid citizens unfamiliar with Bitcoin, as many will need to learn how to use the digital asset.
Following the announcement, Bukele changed his Twitter profile picture to one that features blue laser eyes, as opposed to the red one usually found in the iconic crypto meme.
Bukele’s progressive crypto move has sparked enthusiasm from a number of politicians throughout Latin America, who have either touted crypto proposals of their own or donned red laser eyes in support of crypto.