Central African Republic makes Bitcoin legal tender

The country follows in El Salvador’s footsteps, embracing Bitcoin as legal tender.

Cityscape of the Central African Republic's capital, Bangui

The Central African Republic (CAR) became the first country in Africa to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, Forbes reported. Once the law comes into force, Bitcoin will become a legal means of payment. Lawmakers have also adopted a regulatory framework for the country’s budding cryptocurrency industry.

The National Assembly voted unanimously in favor, according to a statement issued by President Faustin Archange Touadera’s chief of staff. In the statement, Touadera expressed his belief that the move will “enable a strong and inclusive growth benefiting the development and economic performance, which will eventually result in our citizens’ prosperity.”

These hopes could be hindered by the CAR’s economic challenges. Currently, it ranks as seventh (or eighth, depending on the source) poorest country in the world. Only about 11% of the CAR’s population use the Internet.

The African cryptocurrency economy remains small, with just a 2% share of global sent and received crypto assets, according to a report published by Chainalysis. At the same time, those modest sums could prove significant considering the region’s economic challenges and instability, the report concludes.