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El Salvador's President Promotes Bitcoin Adoption by Emerging Countries

Nayib Bukele is hosting financial representatives from 44 developing economies at the Alliance for Financial Inclusion's annual meeting.

As host of an annual meeting of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), El Salvador President Nayib Bukele is promoting the use and adoption of bitcoin to 32 central banks and 12 financial officials representing emerging economies.

The event, which takes place between Monday and Wednesday, covers topics such as financial inclusion and the digital economy, Bukele said, as well as the benefits El Salvador has obtained from becoming the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender last year.

According to Bukele, among the countries attending are Paraguay, Haiti, Honduras, Costa Rica and Ecuador in Latin America; Angola, Ghana, Namibia and Uganda in Africa; and Bangladesh, Palestine and Pakistan in Asia.

The AFI has reconvened its in-person meetings following two years of the pandemic, and is currently holding annual meetings for its Digital Financial Services Working Group and the Small and Medium Enterprise Finance Working Group in El Salvador, according to the AFI.

“El Salvador, which joined the AFI network in 2012, has made significant progress in harnessing digital financial services to advance financial inclusion for individuals and small businesses,” Eliki Boletawa, AFI’s policy programs and implementation director, said in a statement.

El Salvador's attempt to promote bitcoin among developing countries comes amid a dispute with the International Monetary Fund, which in January recommended the Central American country to discontinue the use of bitcoin as a legal tender because of the financial risks and liabilities it created.

In March, El Salvador Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya said the country postponed its planned $1 billion bitcoin bond offering because of unfavorable market conditions.


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