It would appear that the U.S. Congress is starting to become interested – or concerned – with El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender. Senators James Risch, Bob Menendez, and Bill Cassidy have introduced a bill titled the ‘‘Accountability for Cryptocurrency in El Salvador Act’’ (or ‘ACES’ act) to monitor the effects of the nation’s new law on itself and the United States.
Keeping an Eye on El Salvador
The bill was introduced back on February 18th, but entered the spotlight today after El Salvador President Nayib Bukele expressed shock over it. “Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that the US Government would be afraid of what we are doing here,” he tweeted.
Though the bill doesn’t explicitly state ‘fear’, it does reflect a newfound wariness among politicians about how influential cryptocurrencies may be upon the world. In fact, one stipulation within section 2 calls to examine the “potential for reduced use by El Salvador of the United States dollar” in light of the Bitcoin law.
It would also require Federal departments to send a plan to Congress within 90 days for mitigating the effects of crypto legal tender adoption on the United States, by any country that already uses the dollar for such purposes.
Like so many authorities today, the senators even ask for an examination into how El Salvador’s crypto adoption might help countries like Russia evade U.S. sanctions. Yet unlike Elizabeth Warren’s bill on the subject, this legislation has Republican support behind it.
Taking Bitcoin Seriously
Some politicians ranging from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump have long warned of Bitcoin’s threat to the dollar’s global supremacy. However, only in light of Russia and Ukraine’s conflict and its economic fallout has frequent conversation begun about the dollar’s weakness, and Bitcoin’s strength, in these conditions.
It may be no coincidence that rumors have been swirling about many more countries considering making Bitcoin legal tender alongside El Salvador. It would also explain President Biden’s “urgency” in researching CBDC development in his recent executive order, with one stated goal of holding the dollar’s status as a world reserve currency.
El Salvador has received criticism from groups like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank for months about Bitcoin. However, President Bukele has consistently defied such detractors and maintained his bullish enthusiasm.
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