El Salvador grants its first crypto license to Bitfinex

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Bitfinex has become the first cryptocurrency exchange to be registered as a Digital Asset Service Provider (DASP) by regulators in El Salvador.

The Latin American country is a pioneer in the industry, adopting bitcoin as legal tender in 2021. Under the rule of President Nayib Bukele, it has purchased quantities of the major macro-level cryptocurrency and launched numerous initiatives linked to BTC.

“Glad to be the first”

In a recent blog postBitfinex described the clearance obtained by El Salvador’s National Digital Assets Commission as an important step in its long-term strategy “to bring financial freedom and inclusion to communities and countries around the world.”

Paolo Ardoino – CTO of the platform – said the entity is “delighted” to be the first to have such a license. “This will allow Bitfinex Securities to facilitate the issuance and secondary trading of assets with clearly defined rights and obligations as outlined in the new digital asset regulatory regime,” he explained.

Registration will also allow entities (from small businesses to governments) to raise capital and interact with investors who deal with the asset class.

Jesse Knutson, head of operations at Bitfinex Securities, said demand for products included in the new regulations, such as token stocks and yield assets, has increased recently.

“Issuers are eager to enter the digital asset market, attracted by the speed, cost-effectiveness and ease of issuance compared to traditional assets. The digital asset market is a market which, with a size of more than 1 trillion dollars, is still in its infancy but is growing extremely rapidly,” he added.

El Salvador’s newest cryptocurrency regulatory framework – the Digital Assets Issuance Law – came into existence in January 2023 after receiving the green light from the National Congress. Its main objective is to support financial innovation and economic growth in the region.

The country’s authorities plan to strengthen this legislation by regulating the operations of retail and institutional investors.

El Salvador: The Land of Bitcoin

The small Central American nation, previously proclaimed the murder capital of the world, made headlines in September 2021 in to announce bitcoin as an official means of payment in its territory.

The government, led by President Bukele, launched several projects related to the main digital asset in the following years, such as the accumulation of BTC at the macro level, building a huge veterinary hospital where patients can use the asset as payment, and design a high-tech city.

The so-called “Bitcoin City” will be located near the Conchagua and Tecapa volcanoes and will use their geothermal energy to power itself. Needless to say, BTC will be the main currency, while the design of the urban area will be in the shape of a circle so that it can represent the coin logo when viewed from above.

Bukele recently Underline the asset as one of the main reasons for the increased levels of tourism and the fixed heritage of El Salvador:

“We’ve increased tourism by 95%, and that’s partly thanks to bitcoin. There are many bitcoiners who want to go to the country where bitcoin is legal tender, we have bitcoin conferences.


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