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El Salvador becomes the world’s first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender

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Nayib Bukele, El Salvador’s president, delivers a speech to Congress at the Legislative Assembly building in San Salvador, El Salvador, on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. Photographer: Camilo Freedman/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

MIAMI — El Salvador announced legislation Saturday that will make it the world’s first sovereign nation to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, alongside the U.S. dollar.

In a video broadcast to Bitcoin 2021, a multiday conference in Miami being billed as the biggest bitcoin event in history, President Nayib Bukele announced El Salvador’s partnership with digital wallet company, Strike, to build the country’s modern financial infrastructure using bitcoin technology.

Strike founder and CEO Jack Mallers said this will go down as the “shot heard ’round the world for bitcoin.”

“What’s transformative here is that bitcoin is both the greatest reserve asset ever created and a superior monetary network. Holding bitcoin provides a way to protect developing economies from potential shocks of fiat currency inflation,” continued Mallers.

Speaking from the mainstage, Mallers said the move will help unleash the power and potential of bitcoin for everyday use cases on an open network that benefits individuals, businesses, and public sector services.

El Salvador is a largely cash economy, where roughly 70% of