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New Bill Aims To Reduce ‘Risks’ To US From El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law



A bipartisan group of senators has passed legislation in the US Senate seeking to mitigate the perceived risks of El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as a legal currency. The proposed Accountability for Cryptocurrency in El Salvador Act (ACES) targets “potential risks to the US financial system” such as money laundering and terrorist financing. The bill was introduced by Republican Senators Jim Risch and Bill Cassidy, while Democratic Senator Bob Menendez signed in. Senator Risch wrote in the Feb. 16 announcement that, “El Salvador’s acceptance of Bitcoin as legal tender raises serious concerns about the economic stability and financial integrity of a vulnerable US trading partner in Central America.” Senator Cassidy wrote that “recognizing Bitcoin as an official currency opens the door for money laundering cartels and undermines US interests.” If passed, federal agencies would have 60 days to file a report assessing various aspects of the Central American nation’s cybersecurity and financial stability capabilities. the report would assess how El Salvador developed and implemented the Bitcoin law, how El Salvador will “reduce the financial integrity and cybersecurity risks” of virtual assets, whether it meets the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the impact on individuals and businesses, and the effect crypto will have on its economy. The next section of the report would describe El Salvador’s internet infrastructure and assess “the extent to which cryptocurrency is used there,” the custody of funds and the potential for hacks, and the degree of financial access afforded to underprivileged or unbanked El Salvadorans. to enjoy. After the issuance of these reports, the bill would include action plans from various agencies based on the findings. El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele reacted to the alleged interference in his country, tweeting: “You have no jurisdiction over a sovereign and independent nation. We are not your colony, your backyard or your front yard. “Okay boomers… You have 0 jurisdiction over a sovereign and independent nation. We are not your colony, your backyard or your front yard. Stay out of our internal affairs. Don’t try to control something you can’t control https://t .co/pkejw6dtYn— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) February 16, 2022 The government of El Salvador passed the Bitcoin law in June 2021. This made Bitcoin (BTC) a legal currency in the country, forcing companies to accept it as a means of payment. Related: What Shapes the Future of the Institutional Crypto Market The bill has faced some opposition from domestic lawmakers and the IMF, who have repeatedly urged President Bukele to repeal the Bitcoin law, most recently on Jan. 25. proponents of the world’s largest crypto by market cap.
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