El Salvador Grants First Digital Asset License to Bitfinex

Tokenized shares and yield-bearing assets are potential products that could be launched under the new regulatory framework approved by the Central American country.

AccessTimeIconApr 11, 2023 at 7:38 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 11, 2023 at 8:35 p.m. UTC

El Salvador granted Bitfinex that country’s first license for digital asset service providers, the company said on Tuesday.

The new license was issued subsequent to a law passed in January by the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador that regulates digital securities and created a framework for the Central American country to launch bitcoin-backed bonds, also known as "Volcano Bonds".

“We are delighted to be the first company to be awarded this license,” Paolo Ardoino, chief technology officer at Bitfinex, said in the statement. “It will enable Bitfinex Securities to facilitate the issuance and secondary trading of assets with clearly defined rights and obligations as outlined in the new digital asset regulatory regime.” Ardoino has worked closely with El Salvador on the bitcoin bond project.

Among the products that the new regulation will allow to launch are tokenized shares and yield-bearing assets, said Jesse Knutson, head of operations at Bitfinex Securities.

Under the leadership of President Nayib Bukele, El Salvador in September 2021 became the first in the world to make bitcoin legal tender.

Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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Andrés Engler

Andrés Engler was a CoinDesk editor based in Argentina, where he covers the Latin American crypto ecosystem. He holds BTC and ETH.