February 16, 2022

Risch, Menendez, Cassidy Introduce Legislation to Mitigate Risks of El Salvador’s Adoption of Bitcoin

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), ranking member and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) today introduced the Accountability for Cryptocurrency in El Salvador (ACES) Act , legislation requiring a State Department report on El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency, as legal tender and a plan to mitigate potential risks to the U.S. financial system.

“El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender raises significant concerns about the economic stability and financial integrity of a vulnerable U.S. trading partner in Central America,” said Risch. “This new policy has the potential to weaken U.S. sanctions policy, empowering malign actors like China and organized criminal organizations. Our bipartisan legislation seeks greater clarity on El Salvador’s policy and requires the administration to mitigate potential risk to the U.S. financial system.”

“El Salvador recognizing Bitcoin as official currency opens the door for money laundering cartels and undermines U.S. interests,” said Dr. Cassidy. “If the United States wishes to combat money laundering and preserve the role of the dollar as a reserve currency of the world, we must tackle this issue head on.”

The State Department report would require:

  • An analysis of El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender and the risks for cybersecurity, economic stability, and democratic governance in El Salvador.
  • A plan to mitigate potential risks to the U.S. financial system.

Text of the legislation can be found here.

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