The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is reportedly demanding changes to El Salvador’s pro-Bitcoin law, hindering the country’s attempts to secure a $1.4 billion credit line as reported by Infobae

El Salvador made history in 2021 by adopting Bitcoin as a legal tender under President Nayib Bukele. The country has since bet big on Bitcoin, building Bitcoin reserves, mining BTC, and launching educational initiatives.

However, the IMF has objected to the Bitcoin law amid loan negotiations with El Salvador, which needs financing to pay debts and obligations. Talks have stalled for nearly two years over the IMF’s calls to limit Bitcoin’s scope in the country.

According to the IMF’s communications director Julie Kozack on last Thursday, the „risks“ of Bitcoin remain a key issue in discussions with El Salvador. The IMF has previously cited financial integrity and stability concerns about Bitcoin.

The fund’s opposition highlights a clash over the future of money and payments. While Bukele sees Bitcoin as an innovative solution for financial inclusion, the IMF remains wary of its volatility and decentralized nature, and a threat to their dominance.

Irrespective of pressures, El Salvador has stood firm on its Bitcoin commitment. The country has invested over $150 million in BTC reserves, continually buying more. Bukele also pledged to purchase 1 BTC daily.

The IMF loan impasse puts El Salvador in a difficult fiscal position. By tying loan access to changes in El Salvador’s Bitcoin law, the IMF is exerting its influence over poorer nations. But Bukele seems unwilling to back down on Bitcoin, creating an ideological tug-of-war.

El Salvador’s pioneering Bitcoin adoption signaled a shift toward decentralization and self-determination. Demands to roll back the Bitcoin law undermine the country’s monetary sovereignty.

The standoff illustrates the disruptive potential of Bitcoin to reshape global finance. While risky for El Salvador in the near-term, Bukele’s Bitcoin bet could pay long-run dividends.


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