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Central African Republic (CAR) adopts Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender

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Central African Republic (CAR) adopts Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender
Central African Republic (CAR) adopts Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender

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The Central African Republic (CAR) has announced the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender. CAR is the second country to adopt BTC as legal tender after El Salvador. With this move, the country will be the first in the African continent to announce the use of Bitcoin for payments.

Central African Republic used BTC as legal tender

CAR is one of the poorest countries globally, but it has abundant natural resources such as gold, diamond and uranium. The country is closely affiliated with Russia, and for decades now, it has been rocked by conflict.

Lawmakers in the country voted unanimously to pass a bill that supports the use of Bitcoin as legal tender. A statement from the CAR presidency said that the move would put CAR “on the map of the world’s boldest and most visionary countries.”

Move met by mixed reactions

After passing the Bitcoin law in September last year, El Salvador was the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. Some of the world’s largest financial institutions opposed this move, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). These institutions warned that Bitcoin carried a high risk because of its volatile prices.

There have also been concerns about using cryptocurrencies in illicit activities such as money laundering and terrorism financing. The negative effects of cryptocurrencies on the environment have also been addressed as a top reason these assets need to be advocated against.

The CAR does not have internet access, with a WorldData report saying that only 4% of people in the country can access the web. This could be a major hindrance to Bitcoin adoption in the country, as cryptocurrency transactions heavily rely on the internet.

Residents of the country’s capital have also shared mixed reactions to this news. An economist from the country, Yann Dawaro, has said that cryptocurrencies would make transactions easier because they can be done easily using smartphones.

CAR currently uses the CFA currency, but Dawaro has argued that this currency does not benefit Africa. Several countries that use the CFA have called for it to be abolished, saying that it is a reminder of the colonial period and allows France to continue controlling the country’s economy.

However, Damaro’s optimism has not been shared by Sydney Tickaya, a computer scientist. Tickaya said that internet access remained underdeveloped in the country, adding that the government needed to focus more on important issues such as better access to education and clean drinking water.

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