Forced course Bitcoin: What is the penalty for not accepting BTC in El Salvador?

Coingoback" srcset="https://cointimes.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Banner-Coingoback-700x150-1.jpg 700w, https://cointimes.com.br/wp-content/ uploads/2021/06/Banner-Coingoback-700x150-1-300x64.jpg 300w, https://cointimes.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Banner-Coingoback-700x150-1-150x32.jpg 150w, https://cointimes.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Banner-Coingoback-700x150-1-585x125.jpg 585w" data-sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px " width="700" height="150" style="display: inline-block;"/>While the adoption of Bitcoin as the official currency in El Salvador has been celebrated by many bitcoiners, the forced course has troubled people more connected to philosophy Bitcoin has libertarian roots, from the cypherpunk culture, this is a fact recognized even by Satoshi Nakamoto, creator of the coin. Soon, this became a point of discussion. Will hyperbitcoinization be voluntary or forced? According to the Law Bitcoin, approved on June 9, “any economic agent shall accept bitcoin as a form of payment", but those who "by a well-known fact and evidently do not have access to technologies that allow transactions in bitcoin will be "excluded" from the obligation to receive payments". The law also states that for “accounting purposes” the US dollar will be used as a “reference currency” and highlights that “all cash obligations expressed in dollars, existing before the date of entry into force of this law, may be paid in bitcoin”. according to the approved bill, the state will “provide alternatives” that allow the user to “automatic and instant convertibility from bitcoin to dollar if desired”. This is an important point, as it supposedly guarantees that those who prefer US dollars will not have a loss for not wanting to receive bitcoin.

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According to President Bukele, giving bitcoin a legal tender in the country aims to generate jobs and also “give financial inclusion to thousands of people outside the formal economy”. According to Bukele, “70% of the Salvadoran population does not have a bank account and works in the informal economy.” In El Salvador's dollarized economy, remittances sent by Salvadorans from abroad are equivalent to 22% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2020, remittances totaled 5.918 billion dollars, an increase of 4.8% compared to 2019, according to official data.

What is the consequence of not using bitcoin?

In the text of the law there is no penalty for those who do not comply with the obligation to accept bitcoin, so this left doubts about the topic in some bitcoiners. In response to Cointimes, the El Salvador Transparency Portal stated that there is no legislation punishing those who do not use bitcoin. “The point is not legislated, if you refuse to accept the official currency, whatever it is, you cannot acquire any kind of good or service,” said the El Salvador agency. Worldwide, what legal tender gives money is the obligation to the legal system to recognize as satisfactory payment of any monetary debt. That is, bitcoin becoming legal tender gives it the power to extinguish debt when offered. The creditor has no obligation to accept the proposed payment, but the act of presenting the payment in legal tender extinguishes the debt. In Brazil, digital currency is not yet recognized by the Central Bank, with no guarantee, in the absence of correspondence to a physical existence in equivalent paper money, as well as the impossibility of proving its effective value, as stated in Bacen Communiqué No. 31.379/2011. Not using Bitcoin in Brazil can make you lose money with the devaluation of the national currency against the BTC. In El Salvador, not having bitcoins leaves you out of the country's payment system, but without any punishment. Read more:Article written in collaboration with Bruno Haacke.

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