At approximately 06:05 UTC on Wednesday (June 9), the proposed bill to make Bitcoin legal tender in the small Central American nation got passed by the Legislative Assembly (with 62 out 84 voting in favor of it).
It all started on June 5 when Zap Solutions (a Bitcoin payments startup that uses the Lightning Network) Founder and CEO Jack Mallers — who helped with drafting the bill — made the announcement at Miami’s Bitcoin 2021 conference. During his talk, an emotional Mallers presented a recorded video message from President Bukele and read out a small passage from the proposed bill.
Mallers went on to say that his firm would be opening an innovations centre in El Salvador with the help of Blockstream. Later that day, the El Salvador president went on Twitter to explain the motivation for this decision to make Bitcoin a form of legal tender in his country:
He went on to say:
- “By using #Bitcoin, the amount received by more than a million low income families will increase in the equivalent of billions of dollars every year.“
- “Furthermore, 70% of El Salvador’s population doesn’t have a bank account and work in the informal economy. Financial inclusion is not only a moral imperative, but also a way to grow the country’s economy, providing access to credit, savings, investment and secure transactions.“
- “We hope that this decision will be just the beginning in providing a space where some of the leading innovators can reimagine the future of finance, potentially helping billions around the world.“
The next day, President Bukele gave four reasons why crypto investors and entrepreneurs might want to consider moving to El Salvador. Then, around 02:06 UTC on June 9, President Bukele announced that he had just sent the proposed bill to the Legislative Assembly. And just four hours later, he announced that the bill had been approved. This was confirmed by the Legislative Assembly a few minutes later.
According to one of Karim Bukele, one of President Bukele’s brothers, the president intends to sign the bill and make it law within the next few hours.
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