Making Bitcoin Legal Tender in El Salvador an 'Interesting Experiment,' Central Banking Official Says

At the same time, the BIS executive cast doubts on the cryptocurrency as a "means of payment."

AccessTimeIconJun 11, 2021 at 12:40 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:10 p.m. UTC

Benoit Coeure, the head of the innovation hub at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), an organization owned by central banks across the world, said El Salvador’s move to adopt bitcoin as legal tender is an interesting experiment, according to a report.

  • "El Salvador, that is an interesting experiment indeed," Coeure said at the launch of a regulatory research hub at the Bank of England on Friday, Reuters reports.
  • "We have been clear at the BIS that we don't see bitcoin as having passed the test of being a means of payments. Bitcoin is a speculative asset and should be regulated as such," Coeure said.
  • El Salvador became the first nation in the world to recognize bitcoin as legal tender and mandate that all businesses in the country accept it as payment.
  • On Tuesday, a supermajority of the nation’s legislature voted in favor of President Nayib Bukele’s proposal for the nation to adopt bitcoin.
  • The BIS executive is the latest to express concern about the Latin American country’s decision to adopt bitcoin as legal tender.
  • On Thursday, International Monetary Fund spokesman Gerry Rice said El Salvador's plan to adopt bitcoin as legal tender raises "macroeconomic, financial and legal issues."


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.