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IMF sees legal, economic issues with El Salvador bitcoin move

Kitco News

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday it has a number of economic and legal concerns regarding the move from El Salvador to make bitcoin a parallel legal tender.

El Salvador has become the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, with President Nayib Bukele touting its use for its potential to help Salvadorans living abroad to send remittances back home.

"Adoption of bitcoin as legal tender raises a number of macroeconomic, financial and legal issues that require very careful analysis," said Gerry Rice, an IMF spokesman, during a scheduled press briefing.

"We are following developments closely, and we'll continue our consultations with the authorities."

Rice said the Fund will later on Thursday meet with Bukele to discuss the bitcoin law. El Salvador is in discussions with the IMF seeking a near $1 billion program.

El Salvador's law means bitcoin will have equal footing with the dollar, which became its official currency 20 years ago.

Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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