LatinNews Daily - 23 November 2022

In brief: El Salvador moves on bitcoin bonds

*El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has tweeted a link to a report by Bitcoin Magazine, which is owned by US-based media company BTC Inc, which states that a “digital securities bill has been presented to El Salvador’s congress, paving the way for the issuance of [cryptocurrency] bitcoin-based bonds.” Bitcoin Magazine cited a source close to President Bukele as saying that the bill, which was submitted by El Salvador’s economy minister, Maria Luisa Hayem Brevé, was expected to be “approved before Christmas” by the 84-member unicameral legislature which is controlled by President Bukele’s Nuevas Ideas (NI). Among other things, the proposed bill creates a digital-assets commission and a bitcoin fund management agency. In September 2021 a law took effect in El Salvador making bitcoin legal tender, a move which remains controversial and has been ill-received by institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and international credit ratings agencies due to its volatility and impact of this on already fragile public finances, among other concerns. On 10 November Bloomberg reported that El Salvador’s bitcoin holdings had lost 60% of their value amid the sell-off of the digital coin after cryptocurrency exchange platform Binance Holdings withdrew its offer to buy Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange FTX which filed for bankruptcy on 11 November.

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