With the world remaining wary about cryptocurrency, El Salvador’s Finance Minister has voiced confidence in the country’s decision to accept Bitcoin as legal tender. Even as the cryptocurrency market continues to fall and struggle, he has steadfastly defended Bitcoin.
According to reports, Alejandro Zelaya stated that cryptocurrencies have attracted a variety of financial services to a country with a huge unbanked population. Cryptocurrencies have drawn both tourists and investors.
He also stated that, while the use of cryptos as a medium of exchange is limited, he still believes in digital money. He went on to say that the government is still planning to issue a Bitcoin-backed bond using blockchain technology.
For others, cryptos are a fresh concept, but they are a ‘phenomenon that exists, is gaining traction, and will continue to exist in the future years,’ according to Zelaya. El Salvador is said to have purchased 2,381 Bitcoin with public monies, which are now worth 50% less than what the government paid for them.
According to a recent National Bureau of Economic Research survey, many businesses and even users in El Salvador still prefer to pay for services and remittances in hard money.
The country has been asked by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to delegitimize Bitcoin. However, the group also offers technical assistance to El Salvador so that country can compile data on Bitcoin usage.
Zelaya, however, also said, “We aren’t going to have results overnight. We can’t go to bed poor and wake up millionaires.”
Furthermore, he indicated that the administration’s plans to issue a $1 billion Bitcoin-backed bond had been halted as a result of Bitcoin’s drop. However, the government is not giving up and intends to proceed with the sale once the market recovers.
Zelaya further commented, “I believe in the traditional, international monetary system just as I believe that new technologies are going to help human beings in the future.”
The government also has no intention of abandoning its aim to develop “Bitcoin City,” and will announce other Bitcoin-related projects in the future.