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Central American Development Bank Forms Technical Group for El Salvador Bitcoin Bill

The government requested a consultancy from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI).

Jun 14, 2021 at 6:38 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:10 p.m. UTC

A multinational development bank will form a technical advisory group to help El Salvador as it implements a law recognizing bitcoin as legal tender.

The government of El Salvador resorted to the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) to assist in the process of bitcoin implementation in the country, CABEI’s president, Dante Mossi, confirmed in a press conference on Monday

“During these days” a technical group will be formed involving members of CABEI, the Salvadoran Ministry of Finance and the Central Reserve Bank, Mossi said.

"We are sizing up El Salvador's decision," said Mossi, adding that it is something "innovative that creates many spaces and opportunities." 

CABEI was founded in 1960 by Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica and works as a multilateral development financial institution, according to its profile

Its non-founding regional members also include Panama, the Dominican Republic and Belize, while other extra-regional members include Mexico, Argentina, Spain and South Korea. 

According to Mossi, the adoption of bitcoin will lower the cost of remittances Salvadorans send home from abroad. However, the executive added, there may be bad players who want to take advantage of bitcoin’s pseudonymity, so a regulatory framework needs to be adopted. 

CABEI is currently looking at global best practices to replicate in El Salvador, Mossi said. 

"There are not many experts in the market. We are making contacts," Mossi said, adding the bank has already been approached by experts. 

Mossi said the bank has not received a request from El Salvador to provide financial support for the $150 million trust fund the government plans to launch to assume the risks of converting bitcoin to U.S. dollars. 

"If we already know that cash is knocking on its exit doors and that we have to move to cryptocurrencies, we have to do it securely," Mossi said.  

Mossi said other countries are exploring the use of cryptocurrencies for remittances, following El Salvador's lead.

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