LONDON, June 10 – El Salvador has become the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, with President Nayib Bukele touting its use for its potential to help Salvadorans living abroad to send remittances back home.
Here’s what the move means for bitcoin as a mainstream currency – and emerging markets such as El Salvador:
What does the law say?
El Salvador’s law means bitcoin will have equal footing with the dollar, which became its official currency 20 years ago.
Making bitcoin “legal tender” means shops and businesses must accept it for goods and services, and they can choose to express prices in the currency.
Taxes can also be paid using bitcoin, though its use will be optional.
So bitcoin will be used like dollars?
It’s too soon to tell.
Bitcoin’s value has fluctuated wildly through its 12-year life, with regular daily double digit price moves rendering it impractical for commerce.
It remains little used for buying goods and services across the world, despite a growing number of major companies