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IMF provides ‘technical assistance’ to El Salvador in compiling Bitcoin usage stats

As the cryptocurrency market continues to grow with more countries starting to accept Bitcoin (BTC) and other digital assets as a legitimate alternative to traditional money, the global financial watchdogs are trying to gain as much control over this adoption as they possibly can.

Indeed, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has entered into talks with El Salvadoran authorities “on the critical issues that were emphasized by our Executive Board in January,” confirmed the organization’s spokesman Gerry Rice at a press conference, reported by on May 20.

“It is part of the discussions that are ongoing, including the progress of the authorities in the collection of statistics on the use of Bitcoin and other information related to the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador. Therefore, we provide technical assistance on this topic, the compilation of the use of Bitcoin,” he explained.

Rice has also said that the debates were being held “on the fight against money laundering, fiscal transparency, accountability in the use of public funds, strengthening the anti-corruption framework in accordance with international standards, and a variety of other issues.”

IMF stance toward crypto

For a long time, the IMF has been a critic of digital assets, repeatedly warning about the risks of adopting them, and asserting that crypto usage was higher in corrupt countries. More recently, the organization has insisted that El Salvador strengthens its efforts on the above-mentioned issues of money laundering and the accountability of public funds use.

Notably, El Salvador was the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, doing so in September 2021. Its president Nayib Bukele has reportedly already purchased 2,301 Bitcoin. This country was followed by the Central African Republic in late April 2022.

Meanwhile, the local El Salvadorean media has reported that the talks this country is having with the IMF could lead to a $1.3 billion loan deal toward organizing its finances in the midst of increasing country risk and lowered ratings from international risk agencies.

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