After El Salvador’s audacious move to accept Bitcoin as legal tender in June, Paraguay seems to be next in line in a wave of interest that has caught lawmakers across the region.
Just recently, El Salvador passed a new law that would make the Central American country, albeit small, the world’s first jurisdiction to deem bitcoin legal tender. The declaration allows Bitcoin to be used to buy goods and services as well as pay for taxes and bank loans. With a Bitcoin dollar rate set by the market, businesses will be required to accept Bitcoin as payment in the country.
El Salvador’s three-page bill to accept Bitcoin as a legal tender was set in motion by lawmakers of President Nayib Bukele’s New Ideas Party. The 39-year old president swiftly approved the bill thanks to the fact that his party enjoys a supermajority in the country’s legislative assembly.
Paraguay follows El Salvador’s lead
Now, Carlitos Rejala (a Paraguayan Congressperson) and Fernando Silva Facetti (a Senator) are introducing a Bitcoin (BTC) bill to the Paraguayan Congress that will formulate a coherent digital asset strategy for the country.
Although the Congressperson did not give specific detail of what the bill would entail, information gleaned from Rejala’s Twitter activities suggest that he is working towards making Paraguay a hub for crypto investors.
His announcement on Twitter suggested that the bill set to be introduced to the country’s National Congress would likely mirror El’ Salvador’s crypto law.
“I am here to unite Paraguay,” the tweet began, “to present to present together with the bill on #bitcoin on Wednesday, July 14th.” Rejala ended his tweet by saying that “there will be a mega surprise for Paraguay and the world.”
Other reports have also emerged that the congressman is working with Juanjo Benitez Rickmann who is the CEO of a crypto exchange called Bitcoin.com.py to initiate a program that will make Paraguay more crypto-friendly.
Rejala also updated his profile picture to include laser eyes, a Twitter phenomenon, and a symbolic trend among Bitcoin enthusiasts used to demonstrate a bullish stance on cryptocurrencies.
Is mainstream adoption on the horizon?
Bitcoin has often been criticized for its exorbitant use of electricity and countries like China are increasingly doubling down on their harsh stance towards the cryptocurrency. Because of this, El Salvador has confirmed that it would mine its Bitcoin using geothermal energy from its volcanoes. According to President Bukele, the country is already designing a mining hub that would enable cheap, clean, and renewable mining of bitcoin from power generated by volcanoes.
Rejala has also emphasized that Paraguay’s access to renewable energy and a youthful labor force will give it an edge in attracting crypto investments. About 100% of Paraguay’s electricity is served by hydroelectric with 90% exported to neighboring Argentina and Brazil.
While it is uncertain how long it will take for the Bitcoin bill in Paraguay to be enacted, Latin America is certainly emerging as a hotbed for cryptocurrency adoption. Some of the factors contributing to this rapid pace of adoption are the region’s economic and fiscal pressure as is the case with El Salvador’s vulnerability to U.S economic sanctions.