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Bitcoin voted official currency of Central African Republic

·1-min read
Lawmakers in the CAR voted unanimously to introduce bitcoin as a legal form of tender (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Lawmakers in the CAR voted unanimously to introduce bitcoin as a legal form of tender (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The Central African Republic has followed El Salvador by becoming the second country to adopt bitcoin as an official currency.

The CAR, which has a population of 4.83 million, approved BTC as legal tender alongside the existing CFA franc.

President Faustin Archange Touadera said in a statement that lawmakers at the National Assembley had unanimously passed a bill, which he signed into law.

The president’s office said it would put the CAR “on the map of the world’s boldest and most visionary countries.”

Gourna Zacko, minister of the digital economy, added: “With cryptocurrency, there is no more control of the Central Bank. You have your money, you send an investor for a business, you receive it in any currency, you can dispose with it in dollar, euro, CFA or Naira.”

The move comes less than a year after El Salvador became the first country in the world to introduce bitcoin as a legal form of tender, allowing citizens to pay for goods, services and taxes.

Several other countries have been watching the Central American country closely to see whether bitcoin can bring about economic benefits, such as avoiding hyper inflation and reducing the reliance on the US dollar as the global reserve currency.

The Central African Republic will likely face more challenges than El Salvador in rolling out bitcoin adoption, with less than 20 per cent of the population having access to the internet, according to figures from the World Bank.

An internet connection is required to spend and receive bitcoin, typically through an app on a smartphone or tablet. It is possible to store bitcoin offline, in what is known as cold storage.

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