El Salvador becomes first to use bitcoin as official currency

Bitcoin gamble off to a rocky start

Pedro Gonçalves
clock • 2 min read
El Salvador on Tuesday became the first country to adopt bitcoin as an official currency
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El Salvador on Tuesday became the first country to adopt bitcoin as an official currency

El Salvador has become the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as an official currency, a historic move that was beset by teething problems, as angry protests, technological glitches and a plummet in value marked the first day of the digital experiment.

A network of cash dispensers will allow users to convert bitcoin into dollars free of commission, backed by a $150m government fund. Taxes may be paid in the cryptocurrency and merchants must accept it...

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