The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recommended El Salvador to ditch the use of Bitcoin cryptocurrency as a legal tender in the country. Such recommendations by IMF directors came from a report released on Tuesday January 26 following bilateral discussions with El Salvador about its economy. Based on the recommendations, IMF directors emphasized that “there are large risks associated with the use of bitcoin on financial stability, financial integrity and consumer protection, as well as the associated fiscal contingent liabilities.”

Additionally, the report urged Salvadorian authorities to refine the scope of its Bitcoin law by removing Bitcoin’s status as legal money. In addition, the report stated that some IMF directors had expressed concern over the risks related to the issuance of Bitcoin-backed bonds, referring to President Bukele’s plan to raise $1 billion via a 'Bitcoin Bond' based on a partnership with Blockstream, a cryptocurrency company. In the report, IMF directors admitted that the use of Chivo, a virtual wallet, could facilitate digital means of payment, and, therefore, assist in boosting financial inclusion. Though, they stressed the need for oversight and strict regulation.

Since early last year, El Salvador has been making attempts to secure a $1.3 billion loan from the IMF. But, such efforts appear not to be bearing fruit, which has been decayed by Bitcoin adoption concerns.

Challenges Facing El Salvador

This is not the first time the IMF has raised concerns about El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption. In November last year, the agency announced that Bitcoin should not be used as legal tender in El Salvador. As a result, the IMF urged the Central American country to strengthen the supervision and regulation of its newly-established payment ecosystem. In September last year, El Salvador became the world’s first nation to adopt the cryptocurrency as legal tender, alongside the U.S. dollar. In recent months, El Salvador President, Nayib Bukele, has added hundreds of Bitcoins to the country’s balance sheet. Last week, Bukele announced that the Central American nation purchased an additional 410 Bitcoin for a total of $15 million at a time when the cryptocurrency market plunged.

Bitcoin is currently trading at $36,669 per coin, which is about 50% down from its all-time high in November. Part of El Salvador’s Bitcoin plan involved the launch of a national digital wallet called, Chivo, which provides no-fee transactions and facilitates quick cross-border payments. However, several citizens of El Salvador have reported cases of identity theft whereby hackers use their national ID number to sign up for Chivo Wallet in order to get the free $30 worth of Bitcoin being provided by the government as an incentive to open the virtual wallet.

The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recommended El Salvador to ditch the use of Bitcoin cryptocurrency as a legal tender in the country. Such recommendations by IMF directors came from a report released on Tuesday January 26 following bilateral discussions with El Salvador about its economy. Based on the recommendations, IMF directors emphasized that “there are large risks associated with the use of bitcoin on financial stability, financial integrity and consumer protection, as well as the associated fiscal contingent liabilities.”

Additionally, the report urged Salvadorian authorities to refine the scope of its Bitcoin law by removing Bitcoin’s status as legal money. In addition, the report stated that some IMF directors had expressed concern over the risks related to the issuance of Bitcoin-backed bonds, referring to President Bukele’s plan to raise $1 billion via a 'Bitcoin Bond' based on a partnership with Blockstream, a cryptocurrency company. In the report, IMF directors admitted that the use of Chivo, a virtual wallet, could facilitate digital means of payment, and, therefore, assist in boosting financial inclusion. Though, they stressed the need for oversight and strict regulation.

Since early last year, El Salvador has been making attempts to secure a $1.3 billion loan from the IMF. But, such efforts appear not to be bearing fruit, which has been decayed by Bitcoin adoption concerns.

Challenges Facing El Salvador

This is not the first time the IMF has raised concerns about El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption. In November last year, the agency announced that Bitcoin should not be used as legal tender in El Salvador. As a result, the IMF urged the Central American country to strengthen the supervision and regulation of its newly-established payment ecosystem. In September last year, El Salvador became the world’s first nation to adopt the cryptocurrency as legal tender, alongside the U.S. dollar. In recent months, El Salvador President, Nayib Bukele, has added hundreds of Bitcoins to the country’s balance sheet. Last week, Bukele announced that the Central American nation purchased an additional 410 Bitcoin for a total of $15 million at a time when the cryptocurrency market plunged.

Bitcoin is currently trading at $36,669 per coin, which is about 50% down from its all-time high in November. Part of El Salvador’s Bitcoin plan involved the launch of a national digital wallet called, Chivo, which provides no-fee transactions and facilitates quick cross-border payments. However, several citizens of El Salvador have reported cases of identity theft whereby hackers use their national ID number to sign up for Chivo Wallet in order to get the free $30 worth of Bitcoin being provided by the government as an incentive to open the virtual wallet.