Bipartisan Senate Proposal Raises Alarm Over El Salvador's Bitcoin Adoption

The legislation quickly drew a sharp rebuke from El Salvador President Nayib Bukele.

AccessTimeIconFeb 16, 2022 at 11:16 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 18, 2022 at 8:38 p.m. UTC

Stephen Alpher is CoinDesk's co-regional news chief, Americas. He holds BTC and ETH above CoinDesk’s disclosure threshold of $1,000.

Senators Jim Risch, Bob Menendez and Bill Cassidy's Accountability for Cryptocurrency in El Salvador (ACES) Act would require a State Department report on mitigating risks to the U.S. financial system from El Salvador's adoption of bitcoin as legal tender.

  • "El Salvador recognizing bitcoin (BTC) as official currency opens the door for money laundering cartels and undermines U.S. interests," said Bill Cassidy (R-La.). "If the United States wishes to combat money laundering and preserve the role of the dollar as a reserve currency of the world, we must tackle this issue head on."
  • If passed, the bill would require the State Department to report on a laundry list of subjects with respect to El Salvador and bitcoin, including the flow of remittances from the U.S. to El Salvador, bilateral and international efforts to combat transnational illicit activities, and the potential for reduced use by El Salvador of the greenback.
  • Menendez (D-N.J.) is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Risch (R-Idaho) is the ranking member. (Cassidy is not on the committee.)
  • The move quickly drew a partly comic, partly angry response from El Salvador President Nayib Bukele: "OK boomers ... You have zero jurisdiction on a sovereign and independent nation. We are not your colony, your back yard or your front yard. Stay out of our internal affairs. Don't try to control something you can't control."

DISCLOSURE

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.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Stephen Alpher is CoinDesk's co-regional news chief, Americas. He holds BTC and ETH above CoinDesk’s disclosure threshold of $1,000.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Stephen Alpher is CoinDesk's co-regional news chief, Americas. He holds BTC and ETH above CoinDesk’s disclosure threshold of $1,000.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
El Salvador Purchases 80 Additional Bitcoin at $19K, President Bukele Says

The last purchase by the Central American country had been in May.

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
VanEck Files New Application for Spot Bitcoin ETF

The application comes about eight months after the SEC rejected the investment firm’s last application.

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
First Mover Asia: Speculating on Tokenized Carbon Offsets Won't Help Climate Crisis, Says Consultant; BTC Falls Under $19K Amid Wider Crypto Woes

A significant number of carbon credits are from projects 8-10 years old; Ether and other major altcoins plummet.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
Crypto Lender Celsius Network Exploring Options to ‘Preserve and Protect’ Assets

Celsius Network is consulting with experts to try to reduce the fallout from its mid-June swoon.

CoinDesk - Unknown