Second country adopts Bitcoin as legal tender
(Kitco News) Following El Salvador's footsteps, the Central African Republic adopted Bitcoin as its official currency.
Bitcoin was made legal tender after lawmakers voted unanimously to pass the bill legalizing the world's largest cryptocurrency and other cryptos, according to a statement signed by Obed Namsio, chief of staff of President Faustin-Archange Touadera.
Now Bitcoin can be used as legal tender alongside the regional Central African CFA franc — a currency governed by the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) used by five other nations.
"The president supports this bill because it will improve the conditions of Central African citizens," Reuters quoted Namsio as saying.
According to the statement, the goal of adopting crypto as legal tender is to open up "new opportunities for our country."
The Central African Republic is one of the poorest nations despite vast gold and diamond reserves. It has also been struggling with rebel violence for years.
"Cryptomoney, including Bitcoin, is now considered an official currency in CAR," Bloomberg quoted Albert Mokpeme, spokesman for President Faustin-Archange Touadera, as saying Thursday. "By legalizing the use of Bitcoin, [Central African Republic] hopes to attract investors."
The Central African Republic is the second country to do so after El Salvador made history last year.
But only about 11% of the country's population has access to the internet, DataReportal reported. And more than 70% of the country's 5 million people were living below the international poverty line in 2020, according to World Bank data.
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The move by the Central African Republic is an example of countries "racing to not get left behind in this digital asset revolution," said GlobalBlock analyst Marcus Sotiriou.
"This is just one example of positive support for crypto at a government level, as Brazil has approved a law to regulate crypto in the country. This comes after a high-ranking Ukrainian official announced on Monday that Ukraine is aiming to become a top 5 country in the world in terms of crypto legislation, whilst having 'total support' of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy," he said.