Senators Jim Risch, Bill Cassidy and Bob Menendez (also the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee) introduced new legislation called the Accountability for Cryptocurrency in El Salvador (ACES) Act which would require a detailed State Department report on El Salvador’s decision of adopting the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin as a legal tender and its potential impact on cybersecurity, economic stability, and democratic governance in El Salvador. The report must also entail a plan in order to mitigate the possible risks to the U.S. financial system from El Salvador’s financial market.
If passed, the bill would also require the State Department to report on a laundry list of subjects in relation to El Salvador and Bitcoin including the flow of remittances between the two countries, bilateral as well as international efforts to combat transnational illicit activities, and the potential decline in worth and usage of the American currency, US Dollars (USD) by the Salvadorians.
Elaborating on his proposal, Bill Cassidy said, “El Salvador recognizing Bitcoin (BTC) as official currency opens the door for money laundering cartels and undermines U.S. interests.”
“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.”, added Cassidy, the Republican senator from Louisiana.
Risch who is the ranking member said, “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 the Republican senator from Idaho.
“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.”
The President of El Salvador, President Nayib Bukele was quick to sham the move quickly as he took to Twitter to rebuke the Senators in a comical tone: “OK boomers … You have zero 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.”