The Central African Republic’s authorities overwhelmingly enacted a bill legalizing bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies, making it the first African country to do so. According to the officials, the move is part of the country’s economic recovery and peacebuilding efforts.
The Central African Republic has adopted Bitcoin as a currency
The Central African Republic, one of the world’s least developed countries, has made bitcoin (BTC), the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, legal cash. Yet, more than 60% of the country’s population lives in abject poverty.
Gourna Zacko, the country’s minister of the digital economy, post services, and telecommunications, and Calixte Nganongo, the country’s minister of finance and budget, formulated and submitted a draft law aimed at establishing a legal framework for cryptocurrency regulation, as well as making bitcoin a legal tender for goods and services alongside the country’s existing fiat currency, according to sources close to the matter.
On April 23, 2022, the National Assembly of the Central African Republic (CAR) overwhelmingly enacted the bill into law, making it the first African country to integrate bitcoin into its economy. According to a recent World Bank assessment, nearly 71 percent of the Central African Republic’s residents live below the international poverty line ($1.90 per day), despite just over five million people.
Bitcoin as a Means of Promoting Prosperity and Stability in the Economy
The government has now said that the country’s crypto adoption campaign aims to promote economic recovery and peacebuilding. Though the nation has yet to plan for its crypto implementation, it’s doubtful that the Central African Republic would engage in bitcoin mining because energy availability is severely restricted in the country, with just 14% of the population having access to power.
Nonetheless, the authorities claim that creating favorable policies for and investing in the nascent digital asset class will benefit millions of people and that the country’s major parliamentary groups, Mouvement Coeurs Unis (MCU) and Mouvement National des Independants (MOUN), which were initially opposed to the bill, have now come out in favor of it, with the hope that bitcoin integration will bring prosperity and economic stability to Central Africa.
Despite strong criticism from international institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, El Salvador, a small Central American country led by President Nayib Bukele, successfully implemented the Bitcoin Law on September 7, 2021, making it the first sovereign state in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender (IMF).
Though El Salvador’s plans to build a tax-free Bitcoin City that would mine bitcoin using geothermal energy generated by volcanoes in the region have yet to gain traction, project Chivo is already having a positive impact on the country, as the country has put its $1 billion Bitcoin Bond issuance on hold despite massive demand.
Morena Valdez, El Salvador’s Minister of Tourism, stated earlier in February 2022 that the Bitcoin Law had resulted in a 30 percent increase in visitor arrivals to the province.
According to CoinMarketCap, the price of bitcoin (BTC) is now trading around $38,811, with market size of $737.38 billion at writing this story.