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LatinNews Daily - 15 June 2021

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In brief: BCIE to advise El Salvador on adopting bitcoin

* The Central American development bank (BCIE) has announced that it will work together with El Salvador’s government to provide advice on implementing the cryptocurrency, bitcoin, as legal tender. This follows El Salvador’s legislature’s approval of a law to that effect last week. A BCIE press release cited its president, Dante Mossi, as saying that the BCIE is “always attentive to the needs of its member countries, not only in the provision of loans, but also of technical assistance, hopes that this first step will lead to the development of a series of actions that will enable the implementation of new forms of business in the Central American region”. Mossi added that “we are selecting experts to advise on how to implement such reform, including risk assessment, regulation, financial education, investment plan, among other topics” and that the BCIE team’s efforts will be “led by our financial manager, accompanied by other areas, in order to provide effective and timely support” while the counterpart in the government will be El Salvador’s finance ministry and central bank. The International Monetary Fund, with which the Salvadorean government is seeking a financial arrangement to address the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, is among various institutions to have expressed reservations about the new law.