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LatinNews Daily - 01 September 2021

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In brief: El Salvador creates bitcoin trust fund

* El Salvador’s 84-member unicameral legislature has approved a new law which creates a trust fund for the cryptocurrency bitcoin, following legislation passed in June making it legal tender alongside the US dollar, the country’s official currency, as of 7 September. The legislation approved yesterday establishes an initial amount of US$150m for the trust fund which will be transferred from the finance ministry. Among other things it will be used for a US$30 bitcoin bonus that citizens will receive when they sign up for the government’s electronic wallet dubbed ‘Chivo’. The idea is not to give money away but to promote the use of bitcoin and Chivo. President Nayib Bukele previously announced that there will be 200 Chivo terminals around the country where users can convert bitcoin into dollars and the government is planning a series of training days to teach people to use Chivo. According to official estimates there are currently some 50,000 bitcoin users in the country (pop. 6.5m). With the new law making bitcoin legal tender, the government hopes to increase this to over 4m.