The Central African Republic (CAR) has become the second country to accept Bitcoin as legal tender. The Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries in the world, but it is rich in diamonds, gold and uranium.
It has been plagued by conflict for decades and is a close ally of Russia where mercenaries are helping the Wagner Group fight the rebels. Parliamentarians unanimously resolved to make Bitcoin a legal tender, CAR said in a statement.
The move will put the Central African Republic on a map of the world’s boldest and most visionary countries, he said. El Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as its official currency in September 2021.
The move has been criticized by many economists, including the International Monetary Fund, and states that it has increased the risk of financial instability.
Others have expressed concern that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are bad for the environment as criminals can facilitate money laundering and use so much electricity to generate electricity.
According to the WorldData website, the internet needs to use cryptocurrencies, but in 2019, only 4% of people in the Central African Republic had access to the internet.
The country, along with most other former French colonies in Africa, now uses the French-backed CFA franc as its currency.
Some see the launch of Bitcoin as an attempt to undermine the CFA in the struggle for influence over resource-rich countries between Russia and France. “Given Russia’s partners facing systematic corruption and international sanctions, this situation has fueled suspicion,” French analyst Thierry Barcoulomb told AFP.
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