World Bank Refuses to Help El Salvador Switch to Bitcoin
The World Bank has rejected a request by El Salvador to help the country switch to using Bitcoins as legal tender.
El Salvador’s finance minister Alejandro Zelaya said on Wednesday that the Central American country has asked for the technical assistance from the World Bank.
“I want to announce that we have requested technical assistance from the World Bank so that they, like the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, can accompany El Salvador in the implementation and regulation of Bitcoin as legal tender.”
But in response to a request from El Salvador, the World Bank said they could not support such a request due to the environmental shortcomings of Bitcoin mining and the lack of transparency in the industry.
However, the World Bank noted that the organization can help El Salvador to ensure transparency of the currency and regulatory processes.
Many were not happy with the World Bank’s refusal, but they were not particularly surprised either.
A Bitcoin supporter Anthony Pompliano tweeted the news of the rejection to El Salvador, writing that “The World Bank hasn’t figured out how to make money with Bitcoin.”
The International Monetary Fund has also opposed El Salvador accepting Bitcoin. The organization said it could prevent the country from obtaining a $ 1 billion loan to support the country’s economy.
IMF spokesman Jerry Rice noted that the transition to bitcoin raises a number of financial, legal and macroeconomic problems that require “very careful analysis.”
But Athena Bitcoin has said it is ready to provide ATMs with Bitcoin to El Salvador. On Twitter, the company asked Bukele if “1000 ATMs” were enough, to which the president jokingly replied, “1000? How about 1500?”.