Perspective on the Adoption of Bitcoin in El Salvador: Comments from the World Bank’s Chief Economist

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Economist Comments on Bitcoin as Legal Tender in El Salvador

William Maloney, World Bank Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean, recently shared his perspective on the region’s economy, including the case of El Salvador adopting Bitcoin as legal tender. In an interview with El País, Maloney expressed his support for the country but refrained from commenting on the situation of Bitcoin in it. According to the economist, the silence is due to “environmental and transparency problems.” It should be noted that the economist only briefly mentioned the case of El Salvador.

Economist’s Perspective on Bitcoin Adoption

Although Maloney acknowledged that the adoption of BTC as legal currency in El Salvador had environmental and transparency problems, he provided limited details and evidence to support his argument.

It is worth mentioning that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund did not welcome the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender by El Salvador from the beginning. This factor had repercussions on El Salvador’s country risk index.

Concerns about Transparency and Opacity

The National Foundation for Development (Funde) expressed concerns about the possible use of Bitcoin for the re-election campaign of Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele. Funde requested legal reforms to ensure transparency in cryptocurrency financing and to address the opacity in which political parties operate in terms of disclosing information about their account statements, donors, and the money used in their electoral campaigns.

Regarding environmental problems, Maloney may have referred to the lack of public information about the projects of Bitcoin City and the Volcano Bonds in El Salvador, as well as the potential environmental impact of Bitcoin mining in the country. The lack of details about these projects and their environmental implications could raise concerns about sustainability and the local ecosystem.

Bitcoin ATMs in El Salvador
The number of Bitcoin ATMs installed in El Salvador until May 2023. Source: Statista

Loss of Influence of the Dollar in the Region and the Possibility of a Single Currency

Maloney also commented on the possibility of a single currency for Latin America and the growing influence of the Chinese yuan in the region. He mentioned Argentina’s choice to use the Chinese yuan as currency in international trade as an example.

Regarding the proposal for a common currency in Latin America, the economist emphasized that it is not an easy task to achieve. He highlighted the dominance of the dollar and the euro in contracts, trade, and financial transactions due to their stability and the strong financial markets supporting them.

While the influence of the Chinese yuan is gradually increasing, it is still considered relatively small compared to the aforementioned currencies. This suggests that there are significant challenges hindering the implementation of a common currency in Latin America.

Regarding Argentina’s choice to use the Chinese yuan in international trade, the economist did not provide further details other than attributing it to the free market.


In compliance with Trust Project guidelines, BeInCrypto is committed to providing fair and transparent reporting. This news article aims to provide accurate and timely information. However, readers are advised to independently verify the facts and consult a professional before making any decisions based on this content.

N mining and its environmental impact. Bitcoin mining requires substantial amounts of energy, and concerns have been raised about the carbon footprint associated with the process. The economist’s silence on the matter suggests that he may not have enough information or evidence to fully address these issues.

Overall, the content highlights the perspective of economist William Maloney on Bitcoin adoption in El Salvador. While he supports the country, concerns are raised about the environmental and transparency problems associated with the use of Bitcoin as legal tender. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund also expressed reservations about the adoption, which affected El Salvador’s country risk index. Additionally, concerns were raised about the potential use of Bitcoin for political campaigns and the lack of transparency in the financial operations of political parties. The economist’s limited details and evidence suggest that more information is needed to fully assess these concerns.

How can economists effectively address concerns regarding the carbon footprint of Bitcoin mining and its impact on the environment

There are several ways economists can effectively address concerns regarding the carbon footprint of Bitcoin mining and its impact on the environment:

1. Carbon pricing: Economists can advocate for the implementation of carbon pricing mechanisms, such as carbon taxes or cap-and-trade systems. By putting a price on carbon emissions, it incentivizes Bitcoin miners to reduce their carbon footprint and invest in cleaner energy sources.

2. Renewable energy integration: Economists can encourage the integration of renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power, into the Bitcoin mining process. This can be done through policies that promote the use of renewable energy and provide incentives for miners to adopt cleaner technologies.

3. Research and development: Economists can support research and development efforts to find more energy-efficient mining technologies or develop alternative consensus mechanisms that require less energy consumption. This could involve collaborating with industry leaders, academia, and policymakers to fund and promote innovation in the field.

4. Industry standards: Economists can work towards the establishment of industry-wide standards and best practices for sustainable Bitcoin mining. This can involve engaging with stakeholders, such as miners, energy providers, and environmental organizations, to develop guidelines that ensure responsible mining practices and minimize environmental impact.

5. Public awareness and education: Economists can play a role in educating the public about the environmental implications of Bitcoin mining. By raising awareness about the carbon footprint associated with cryptocurrency, economists can contribute to a more informed public debate and drive demand for environmentally-friendly practices within the industry.

6. Collaboration and international cooperation: Given the global nature of Bitcoin mining, economists can advocate for international cooperation to address its environmental impact. This could involve engaging with international organizations, such as the United Nations or World Bank, to develop global frameworks and regulations that encourage sustainable mining practices.

By employing these strategies, economists can help mitigate the environmental concerns associated with Bitcoin mining and ensure the long-term sustainability of the cryptocurrency industry.

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1 comment

Jayceon June 21, 2023 - 3:19 am

The insights shared by the World Bank’s Chief Economist on Bitcoin adoption in El Salvador provide a valuable perspective. It is crucial to consider the potential benefits and challenges associated with this move, ensuring that the country’s economy and the welfare of its citizens are safeguarded.


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