Central African Republic becomes the second country to adopt Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender

Key Takeaways:

  • The Central African Republic has become the second country to legalize Bitcoin as legal tender
  • The decision comes months after El Salvador gave BTC a national currency status
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) could crack down on the Russian ally for the decision
The Central African Republic become the second country in the world after El Salvador to adopt Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender.

YEREVAN (CoinChapter.com) – The Central African Republic has become the world’s second country to adopt Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender. The development comes months after El Salvador allowed citizens to make and receive payments in the world’s leading cryptocurrency. Lawmakers in the African nation unanimously adopted a bill to the effect, placing BTC alongside the country’s CFA franc. President Faustin-Archange Touadéra’s chief of staff Obed Namsio announced the bill had received presidential approval. 

The newly-adopted law also makes the Central African Republic the first in Africa to give Bitcoin (BTC) a legal tender status.

“This move places the Central African Republic on the map of the world’s boldest and most visionary countries,”

 Namsio said.
The presidential decree legalizing Bitcoin (BTC) in the Central African Republic.
The presidential decree legalized Bitcoin (BTC).

While the adoption is an important step, the Central African Republic still has a lot of work ahead. It still needs to make Bitcoin (BTC) accessible to the masses. Out of the population of nearly 5 million in the country, only 557,000 people use the internet. That amounts to only 11.4%, according to DataReportal.

In order for people to take full advantage of the law, the Government must increase the digital literacy in the country. With the crime rate on the rise and political instability a pressing issue, the adoption of Bitcoin (BTC) also comes with high risks. 

Despite legalizing Bitocoin, the internet penetration in the Central African Republic is just 11%.
The internet penetration in the Central African Republic is just 11%. Credit: DataReportal

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IMF could crackdown on the Central African Republic, a Russian ally

Following El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued heavy criticism. It warned of “large risks associated with the use of Bitcoin on financial stability, financial integrity, and consumer protection.” 

The financial organization had also issued strong warnings to Kazakhstan after the country announced it will allow people to buy and sell cryptocurrency using their bank accounts.

The world largely views the Central African Republic as a satellite state of Russia since the Kremlin snatched influence in the region from France. With the ongoing war in Ukraine, it remains to be seen if Russia will misuse the new law to its advantage.

However, not everyone in the country is happy with the development. Former Prime Minister Martin Ziguele, for example, criticized the law. Ziguele ruled the country for two years, between 2001 to 2003.

“This law is a way of getting out of the CFA franc through a means that guts the common currency,” 

Ziguele said.

As the western union put up a strong resistance against Russian president Vladimir Putin, the IMF could issue heavy crackdowns on the African nation. Meanwhile, for a country riddled with sectarian violence between Christian and Muslim groups, Bitcoin (BTC) could be a game-changer. But can it bring the much-needed economic recovery and peace? Time will tell.

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Central African Republic, Central African Republic becomes the second country to adopt Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender

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