El Salvador Court Investigating Government Bitcoin Purchases

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In Brief
  • El Salvador's Court of Accounts will be investigating how the government makes its bitcoin purchases, following complaints.

  • The Court of Accounts will also be looking into the construction of kiosks for cryptocurrency ATMs.

  • The court’s investigation was prompted by a complaint it received on Sept 10. from regional human rights and transparency organization Cristosal.

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El Salvador’s Court of Accounts will be investigating how the government makes its Bitcoin purchases, following complaints.

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The court’s investigation, which will also include looking into the construction of kiosks for cryptocurrency ATMs, was prompted by a complaint it received on Sept 10. The regional human rights and transparency organization Cristosal filed a complaint about the implementation of bitcoin in El Salvador.

The Court of Accounts oversees the country’s public resources and can impose sanctions against officials who cannot resolve issues. The court is also empowered to present notices to the Attorney General’s Office if it finds irregularities in its investigations which could initiate criminal proceedings.

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Cristosal’s complaint 

Cristosal made a complaint against six members of the Board of Directors of the Bitcoin Trust. This group consists of members of the Finance and Economy ministries, and the secretariat of Commerce and Investments. Additionally, Cristosal requested an audit of the authorization processes the government utilizes for the purchase of bitcoin. It also requested a review of the construction of the cryptocurrency ATMs, which are linked to the digital wallet, Chivo.

“Having admitted the complaint, it will be proceeded to carry out the legal analysis report and, in a timely manner, forward such report to the General Audit Coordination,” the Court of Accounts said in an official document. One Cristosal official also gave confirmation that the complaint had been accepted.

El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as a legal tender this month. This included the building of cryptocurrency ATMs around the country, connected with the government introduced Chivo wallet.

The rollout hasn’t been without its fair share of road bumps but despite these setbacks, the Chivo wallet achieved 500,000 users. However, others are still cantankerous over the adoption. Reports of protests documented how a crypto ATM was even set ablaze.

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Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage. He can best be described as an optimistic center-left skeptic.

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