A bipartisan proposal before the United States Senate seeks to “protect” the North American nation from the consequences that the adoption of Bitcoin in El Salvador could have in relation to money laundering.
A bipartisan group of United States senators, made up of Jim Risch, Bob Menéndez and Bill Cassidy, introduced a curious bill of “Responsibility for Cryptocurrencies in El Salvador (ACES)”which aims “mitigate potential risks to the US financial system”, such as money laundering and the financing of terrorism, from the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador.
We say that it is a “curious” project because it fundamentally derives from the sovereign decisions of another nation.
you can read the bill (in English) here.
Republican Senator Risch wrote of the bill that: “El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender raises significant concerns about the economic stability and financial integrity of a vulnerable U.S. trading partner in Central America.”
For his part, Republican Senator Cassidy said: “El Salvador recognizing Bitcoin as an official currency opens the door to money laundering cartels and undermines the interests of the United States…If the United States wants to combat money laundering and preserve the dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency, we must tackle this problem head-on.”
If passed, the bill would require the State Department to report on a long list of issues regarding El Salvador and Bitcoin, including the flow of remittances from the US to El Salvador, bilateral and international efforts to combat transnational illicit activities and the potential use by El Salvador of the dollar.
The project has the support of Menéndez (Democratic senator), who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Risch, who is the ranking member. Cassidy, meanwhile, is not on the Committee.
The move quickly provoked a response by Twitter From the President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele:
“OK, boomers… You have zero jurisdiction over a sovereign and independent nation. We are not your neighborhood, your backyard or your front yard. stay. Out of our internal affairs. Don’t try to control something you can’t control.”
You have 0 jurisdiction on a sovereign and independent nation.
We are not your colony, your back yard or your front yard.
Stay out of our internal affairs.
Don’t try to control something you can’t control????
— Nayib Bukele ???????? (@nayibbukele) February 16, 2022
What would happen if approved?
If the bill passes, it would give federal agencies 60 days to file a report to evaluate various aspects of the capabilities of the Central American nation in terms of cyber security and financial stability.
The first part of that report would assess how El Salvador opened and enacted the Bitcoin Law, how El Salvador “will mitigate the risks of financial apparatus and cyber security” of virtual assets, if you meet the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)the impact on individuals and businesses, and the effect cryptocurrency will have on their economy.
The next part of the report would describe El Salvador’s Internet infrastructure and assess “the degree to which cryptocurrency is used”custody of funds and the potential for hacking, as well as financial access for underprivileged or unbanked Salvadorans.
After making these reports, according to their results, the bill plans what actions must be taken by various US agencies.
It is worth remembering that El Salvador has Bitcoin as legal tender since September 2021. Different international organizations, such as the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank, have been against this decision.
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