Bitcoin to become legal tender in El Salvador on Sept 7

Bitcoin to become legal tender in El Salvador on September 7

'If someone receives a payment in bitcoin they can choose to automatically receive it in dollars,' said El Salvador President Bukele

A woman takes a picture of a Bitcoin ATM, after its inauguration by Athena Bitcoin Inc. at a shopping mall in San Salvador. Credit: AFP Photo

El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele said in a national address on Thursday that a recently passed law making bitcoin legal tender will take effect on September 7, noting that its use will be optional.

El Salvador's Congress on June 9 approved Bukele's proposal to embrace the cryptocurrency, making El Salvador the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender.

"The use of bitcoin will be optional, nobody will receive bitcoin if they don't want it... If someone receives a payment in bitcoin they can choose to automatically receive it in dollars," said Bukele.

Read | In a first, Bitcoin gets 'legal tender' status in El Salvador

Salaries and pensions will continue to be paid in US dollars, said Bukele, without specifying if that included salaries paid to state workers and private sector employees.

Earlier in the day Athena Bitcoin said it plans to invest over $1 million to install some 1,500 cryptocurrency ATMs in El Salvador, especially where residents receive remittances from abroad.

According to Athena Bitcoin's website, the ATMs can be used to buy bitcoins or sell them for cash.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox