El Salvador President Submits Bill to Recognize Bitcoin as Legal Tender

El Salvador made a major splash in the final hours of the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami on Saturday afternoon.

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele announced, via Zoom, that he will send a bill to the country’s congress to recognize Bitcoin as legal tender.

The announcement did not immediately boost the price of Bitcoin (BTC), which is down 6% over the past 24 hours, after Elon Musk on Thursday evening tweeted out a meme about his breakup with Bitcoin.

Bukele’s pre-recorded announcement came during a talk by Jack Mallers, founder of Strike, a crypto wallet built on the Lightning Network.

Mallers said on stage that he had lived in El Salvador for three months and discovered that some 70% of the population there does not have a bank account, and 20% of the country’s GDP comes from remittances sent by migrants to family members. Strike launched in El Salvador in March, and Mallers said the app has been “onboarding” 20,000 El Salvadorans per day. He framed Bukele’s forthcoming legislation as the next step in a partnership between Strike and the government of El Salvador.

Mallers called the announcement a “shot heard ’round the world for Bitcoin.” If the bill goes through without a hitch, El Salvador will be the first nation to officially recognize Bitcoin as legal tender.

Editor’s note: This is a developing story and will be updated with more.