The president of El Salvador Nayib Bukele has responded to draft legislation by three U.S. senators. They propose to investigate the economic impact on America of El Salvador's embrace of Bitcoin. Bukele's response: "We are not your colony."
In the bill, U.S. senators warn of the danger of Bitcoin opening the door to cartels laundering money through El Salvador. In El Salvador, Bitcoin is legal tender. The country also has about 1,800 Bitcoin in its treasury.
One of the things the senators propose be investigated is ‘existing United States sanctions frameworks and the potential for the use of cryptocurrency to circumvent such sanctions’.
As we have come to expect from him, for example in an earlier response when the IMF kindly asked him to stop using Bitcoin, Bukele responded on Twitter with wit and with a wink. His tweet:
OK boomers… You have 0 jurisdiction on a sovereign and independent nation. We are not your colony, your back yard or your front yard. Stay out of our internal affairs. Don’t try to control something you can’t control 😉
Support for El Salvador
On crypto Twitter, Bukele is generally receiving support. The motives of the US senators are being questioned. For example, the tired narrative of Bitcoin used for criminal activity. Even though Chainalysis research from 2020 shows that only 0.34% of crypto transactions are used for criminal activity.
Simon Dixon sums up the gist of the responses well in this tweet:
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Jim Risch
What he said -
"El Salvador new policy has the potential to weaken U.S. sanctions policy, empowering malign actors like China and organized criminal organizations"
What he meant -
"El Salvador new policy has the potential to make them free from US debt, encourages healthy competition from countries that save & stops criminals that create immutable records of their crime on #Blockchain like the crocodile of Wall Street. Stop #Bitcoin"
Criticism of Bukele too
So while Bukele can count on support from many bitcoiners, there is also criticism on his rule. For example by bitcoiner Alex Gladstein, CSO of the Human Rights Foundation. He accuses Bukele of dictatorial tendencies, as he is "dismantling democratic institutions faster than Hugo Chávez.”