Ecuador has reportedly launched the initial phase of its Electronic Money System (EMS).
The official currencies to be used in the system will be the euro and dollar, the latter of which was adopted by the country as its official currency in 2000. Prior to that, its native currency, the “sucre,” had been in place since 1932. Its value plummeted by 99.95% against the greenback between 1937 (13.5 to the dollar) and 2000 (25,000 to the dollar), leading to the dollar’s adoption.
Like Russia, Ecuador is one of the few countries to actually ban or seriously consider a ban of Bitcoin. Russia’s ruble has also plunged against the dollar, its currency being one of the worst performers in 2014.
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Ecuador banned digital currencies like Bitcoin in July when it decided to launch its EMS. The country’s National Assembly announced at the time that electronic money will stimulate the economy and attract more citizens.
The full rollout will take place over at least three phases. The first phase will last until February, during which time citizens can open accounts. They require a cell-phone, a certificate of citizenship and proof of voting activity in recent elections.
The second phase will allow members to send money to one another via SMS. The third phase will allow for the payment of municipal bills, bank transfers and remittances.