After El Salvador, another country adopts bitcoin as its currency

It is officially the second country in the world to have adopted it. The Central African Republic has decided that bitcoin should be an official currency alongside the CFA franc and legalized the use of cryptocurrencies, the presidency announced on Wednesday, April 27, making it the first country to do so. in Africa. The National Assembly voted “unanimously” by the deputies presenting the law “regulating cryptocurrency in the Central African Republic”, and President Faustin Archange Touadéra has announced it, assures the Prime Minister and Chief of Staff of the Presidency, Obed Namsio, in a press release. , adds: The Central African Republic is “the first country in Africa to adopt bitcoin as a reference currency”.

On September 7, 2021, El Salvador was the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as a legal tender, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) immediately condemned a decision that was dangerous for “financial stability, financial integrity and consumer protection”. “This approach puts the Central African Republic on the map of the most courageous and visionary countries in the world,” said the presidency of the Central African Republic, a country at war since 2013. By the end of 2020, a majority of the armed groups then occupied two-thirds of the territory, launched an offensive against President Touadéra’s power, which asked Moscow for help. Already present since 2018, Russian paramilitaries came as reinforcements along with Central African soldiers to repel the rebels ’offensive.

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“Systemic corruption”

But the UN, international NGOs and France, the former colonial power, regularly condemn “crimes” committed by “mercenaries” of the Russian private security firm Wagner, as in the uprising. And accuse Faustin Archange Touadera of power for having put the country under Wagner’s control and confirm that the latter is “looting” the country’s resources, especially in precious minerals. “The context, with systemic corruption and a Russian partner under international sanctions, raises suspicion,” Thierry Vircoulon, a specialist in Central Africa at the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), told AFP. “Russia’s search for ways around international economic sanctions requires caution,” he continued.

“The law was passed by acclamation”, according to the presidency, but some members of the opposition “will attack the law before the Constitutional Court”, Martin Ziguélé, former prime minister now deputy director of the opposition, told AFP on Wednesday. “This law is a way to get out of the CFA franc with a means that empties the single currency of its substance (…), it is not a priority for the country, this approach questions: who benefits from the crime? ” , He continued. “The purpose of this Act is to regulate all transactions related to cryptocurrencies in the Central African Republic, without limitation (…) carried out by natural or legal persons, public or private”, the text, which refers in particular to “trading activities online”, “all electronic transactions” or even “tax contributions”.

Not taxable

The law also stipulates that “cryptocurrency exchanges are not taxable”. The instability of bitcoin can make you dizzy. By 2021, prices had risen by more than 150% to a historic high of $ 68,991 before collapsing by more than 30%. Even if the market calmed down in 2022, the variations remain very strong: – 17% in February, + 8% in March and + 10% in April. Bitcoin was traded on Wednesday for over $ 39,000. So far, only El Salvador and the Central African Republic have adopted bitcoin as a legal tender, but other countries are considering doing so, some have initiated legislative processes in this direction, according to the specialized website Coinmarketcap.com.

In Ukraine, the government accepted cryptocurrency donations and raised more than $ 100 million in the early days of the conflict to boost its war effort. But Western central banks are also concerned about their possible use to circumvent sanctions against Russia, and calls for international regulation are growing in the United States and Europe. In addition, many countries around the world are talking about the possibility of creating their own digital currency, which would be centralized.

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