El Salvador’s finance minister has revealed that economic agents in the Latin American country will not be required to accept Bitcoin, contradicting the government’s previous stance on their newly adopted currency.

During a televised interview on the popular news show Frente a Frente, Alejandro Zelaya discussed the use of Bitcoin in El Salvador, stating that businesses will not be penalised should they choose to not incorporate Bitcoin into their business.

This declaration contradicts the El Salvadoran central bank’s previous stance, as outlined in an official government article , that stated that bitcoin must be accepted by all economic agents in the country.

Zelaya refused to comment on the seemingly confusing statement, when asked by the interviewer if the article would need to be erased, he made no further clarifying comment.

Since the 8th June 2021, El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law established Bitcoin as a legal national currency, with the government encouraging national’s to adopt the new financial addition by providing each citizen who downloads the government’s cryptocurrency app with $30 dollars.

President Nayib Bukele’s Bitcoin initiative has received both praise and criticism from around the world, and as the first country to accept Bitcoin as legal tender, El Salvador became started off a small chain reaction that saw a small number of other latin american nations accepting the use of cryptocurrencies in their respective countries.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expressed some concerns with El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin, with the IMF stating that the “adoption of bitcoin as legal tender raises a number of macroeconomic, financial and legal issues that require very careful analysis.”

The young president, who titles himself ‘the coolest president in the world” in his Twitter bio, previously clarified that El Salvador would not be replacing the US dollar to replace it with Bitcoin. El Salvador is currently in talks with the IMF to negotiate loans for a $1bn programme to assist them with budget gaps through 2023.

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