The Central African Republic has adopted bitcoin as legal tender, the president’s office said Wednesday, becoming the second country in the world to do so after El Salvador.
Lawmakers unanimously adopted a bill that made bitcoin legal tender alongside the CFA franc and legalised the use of cryptocurrencies.
President Faustin Archange Touadera signed the measure into law, his chief of staff Obed Namsio said in a statement.
The CAR “is the first country in Africa to adopt bitcoin as legal tender”, Namsio said.
“This move places the Central African Republic on the map of the world’s boldest and most visionary countries,” he declared.
But a leading opposition figure contested the vote and said that the move aimed at undermining use of the CFA franc.
The CAR is one of the planet’s poorest and most troubled nations, locked in a nine-year-old civil conflict and with an economy heavily dependent on mineral extraction, much of which is informal.
The text of the new legislation covers use of crypto-currencies, and those who use them, in online trade, “smart contracts… by blockchain technology” and “all electronic transactions”.