June 9 (UPI) — El Salvador became the first country in the world on Wednesday to accept bitcoin as legal tender.
President Nayib Bukele announced that the Central American nation will officially recognize the cryptocurrency, following a law that legitimized it as currency.
The law says 70% of El Salvador’s population doesn’t have access to traditional financial services, and the move to recognize bitcoin aims to expand fiscal inclusion.
“The [bitcoin law] has been approved by a supermajority in the Salvadoran Congress — 62 out of 84 votes. History,” Bukele tweeted.
The U.S. dollar is currently El Salvador’s primary official currency.
It’s not yet known precisely when bitcoin will begin acceptance as legal tender or how it will be introduced.
“The purpose of this law is to regulate bitcoin as unrestricted legal tender with liberating power, unlimited in any transaction and to any title that public or private natural or legal persons require carrying out,” according to the new law, posted to Twitter.
Bitcoin value increased 5% Wednesday after Bukele’s announcement.
Many nations, including the United States, have expressed some skepticism for cryptocurrencies due to their volatility.