El Salvador president's Bitcoin strategy 'unwavering' amidst elections

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El Salvador is likely to keep its Bitcoin ambitions if President Nayib Bukele is reelected on Feb. 4.

El Salvador president's Bitcoin strategy 'unwavering' amidst elections

As El Salvador prepares for the general elections, vice president Felix Ulloa has expressed confidence that the country will keep its commitment to Bitcoin (BTC) if his party is reelected.

Ulloa — who’s temporarily on leave to run for re-election with President Nayib Bukele — has doubled down on El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender following the upcoming elections, Reuters reported on Feb. 1.

According to Ulloa, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has once again approached El Salvador to “reconsider” its Bitcoin policies during negotiations for a $1.3 billion loan.

The official said the government of El Salvador has no intention of reversing the decision, adding that the launch of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF) in the United States in early January 2024 has only added more enthusiasm.

“Not only will the law be maintained, at this moment, it enjoys the greatest credibility in the entire world,” Ulloa reportedly said. He also mentioned that constructing El Salvador’s tax-free Bitcoin City and issuing passports to investors who contribute the equivalent of $1 million in BTC would also go ahead.

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Scheduled for Feb. 4, 2024, El Salvador’s general elections will elect the president, vice president and all 60 deputies of the Legislative Assembly.

Despite facing some criticism, El Salvador’s Bukele appears to be on track to win a second five-year term in office in the upcoming elections, with an estimated 69.9% of voters reportedly approving his reelection bid. Before Bukele, presidents in El Salvador had been limited to one term.

El Salvador’s presidential candidates, Nayib Bukele, Manuel Flores, Joel Sánchez (from left to right). Source: Americas Quarterly

In September 2021, El Salvador became the first country in the world to establish Bitcoin as legal tender, triggering massive criticism from global financial regulators. The decision came despite 70% of Salvadorans reportedly not willing to accept such legal tender in the country, according to a survey by the local Central American University’s Institute of Public Opinion.

The news comes amid Bitfinex Securities, the tokenized securities trading platform by Bitfinex exchange, announcing the official launch in El Salvador on Jan. 31.

According to Bitfinex Securities’ head of operations, Jesse Knutson, El Salvador’s financial performance has exceeded regional peers and expectations since 2021, which “in part has been supported by Bitcoin-driven investment and tourism into El Salvador.”

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