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El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption an ‘interesting experiment,’ says BIS exec

El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption an ‘interesting experiment,’ says BIS exec

El Salvador’s move to make Bitcoin legal tender in the country continues to elicit reactions from legacy finance gatekeepers — this time, from the Bank for International Settlements.

Benoît Cœuré, Bitcoin (BTC) critic and the head of the innovation hub at the Bank of International Settlements, called El Salvador’s historic move to make BTC legal tender in the country an “interesting experiment.”

According to Reuters, Cœuré made this assertion during the launch of the BIS’s fourth innovation hub in England on Friday, stating:

“We have been clear at the BIS that we don’t see bitcoin as having passed the test of being a means of payments. Bitcoin is a speculative asset and should be regulated at such.”

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, El Salvador’s parliament passed a bill to make Bitcoin legal tender in the country. The legislative vote on president Nayib Bukele’s “Bitcoin Law” passed by an overwhelming supermajority of 62 out of 84 votes.

Back in November 2018, Cœuré called Bitcoin the “evil spawn of the [2008] financial crisis.” Cœuré’s comments about the need for strict crypto regulations are a common theme within the BIS, with general manager Agustín Carstens also routinely calling for more stringent cryptocurrency laws.

Cœuré’s comments are coming on the heels of similarly stark warnings from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the wake of El Salvador’s decision. Reacting to the news, the IMF stated that the decision could pose significant legal and financial ramifications.

Related: IMF plans to meet with El Salvador’s president, potentially discussing move to adopt Bitcoin

Indeed, reports indicate that Bitcoin could be a topic of discussion between the IMF and El Salvador’s president on a planned $1-billion program.

On Thursday, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision published a consultation paper that placed Bitcoin in its highest risk category. As part of its recommendations, the global banking regulator called for banks keen on crypto exposure to hold $1 capital for every $1 worth of BTC held in custody.


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