World Bank rejects El Salvador's request to help implement bitcoin as legal tender


The World Bank has rejected the government of El Salvador's request to help implement bitcoin as legal tender in the country.

Reuters reported the news on late Wednesday, saying that the international lender is concerned about bitcoin's environmental and transparency issues.

"We are committed to helping El Salvador in numerous ways including for currency transparency and regulatory processes," the World Bank told Reuters. "While the government did approach us for assistance on bitcoin, this is not something the World Bank can support given the environmental and transparency shortcomings."

El Salvador had requested "technical assistance" from the World Bank, according to the country's Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya. Now that the request has been turned down, El Salvador's timeline of accepting bitcoin across the country within three months could be impacted.

Earlier this month, El Salvador became the first country to classify bitcoin as legal tender, alongside the U.S. dollar, after the nation's Congress approved President Nayib Bukele's proposal to embrace the cryptocurrency.

Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also said it saw "macroeconomic, financial and legal issues" with El Salvador's adoption of bitcoin. According to Zelaya, however, the IMF was "not against" the implementation of bitcoin.

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Aug 11, 2021, 5:18PM UTC