On Wednesday (March 23), U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) commented on the passage of proposed legislation on El Salvador out of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, which means that now the full U.S. Senate will need to vote on this bill.
As you may remember, the bill to make Bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador got passed by the Legislative Assembly on June 9 and the Bitcoin Law became effective on 7 September 2021.
On 24 June 2021, Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele announced during a national address that the Bitcoin Law would become effective on 7 September 7 2021.
According to a press release issued by the Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, Senator Risch, who is ranking member and chairman of the committee, had this to say about “S. 3666: Accountability for Cryptocurrency in El Salvador Act“, which is led by him and co-sponsored by senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.):
“As El Salvador has adopted Bitcoin as legal tender, it’s important we understand and mitigate potential risks to the U.S. financial system. Our legislation passed by committee today requires the State Department to coordinate with Treasury and other federal agencies to examine and mitigate these risks, including any potential empowerment of malign actors like China and organized criminal organizations. I’m grateful to Senators Menendez and Cassidy for their partnership on this legislation.“
This bill was introduced on February 16. This bill requires “a State Department report on El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency, as legal tender and a plan to mitigate potential risks to the U.S. financial system.”
Back then, Senator Risch said:
“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. This new policy has the potential to weaken U.S. sanctions policy, empowering malign actors like China and organized criminal organizations. Our bipartisan legislation seeks greater clarity on El Salvador’s policy and requires the administration to mitigate potential risk to the U.S. financial system.“
And Senator Cassidy stated:
“El Salvador recognizing Bitcoin as official currency opens the door for money laundering cartels and undermines U.S. interests. If the United States wishes to combat money laundering and preserve the role of the dollar as a reserve currency of the world, we must tackle this issue head on.“
This was President Bukele’s reaction to yesterday’s news from the U.S. Senate:
Shortly afterwards, President Buklele tweeted that he was planning to meet Binance Co-Founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao (aka “CZ”), who arrived in El Salvador yesterday:
The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.