RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The World Bank has rejected a request from the government of El Salvador to help implement bitcoin (BTC) as the country’s legal tender.
The international lender is concerned about bitcoin’s environmental and transparency issues.
“We are committed to helping El Salvador in a number of ways, including in transparent monetary and regulatory processes,” the World Bank said. “While the government has come to us for our assistance on bitcoin, this is not something the World Bank can support given the environmental and transparency gaps.”
El Salvador requested “technical assistance” from the World Bank, according to Alejandro Zelaya, the country’s finance minister. Now that the request has been rejected, the timeline for the country’s acceptance of bitcoin three months from now could be impacted.
In early June, El Salvador became the first country to classify bitcoin as legal tender, along with the U.S. dollar, after the Salvadoran Congress passed President Nayib Bukele’s proposal to implement the cryptocurrency.
Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also said it had found “macroeconomic, financial, and legal issues” in El Salvador’s adhesion to bitcoin. However, according to Zelaya, the IMF was not “against” its implementation.