Bitcoin’s adoption by mainstream institutions is a clear indicator of the cryptocurrency’s growing popularity. BTC and other virtual tokens have long been associated with the drug trade and other illicit activities in the deepest, darkest corners of the internet. El Salvador’s Congress approved this week plans to adopt Bitcoin as an alternative to cash – news welcomed by trade analysts and crypto traders across the globe.
Bitcoin will become legal tender alongside the US dollar – El Salvador’s official currency – within the next 90 days.
According to Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Hong Kong-based crypto exchange Bitfinex, this is just the first in many “big steps” for BTC.
The expert believes the decision has highlighted bitcoin’s viability as an alternative to fiat currencies.
Before El Salvador’s congress voted on the BTC adoption, President Nayib Bukele said the move will bolster the country’s economic development, while bringing in tourism, investment and innovation.
READ MORE: Cryptocurrency: Is El Salvador leading the way with crypto?
The digital token was then adopted by 62 out of 84 votes – a “supermajority” of votes.
Mr Ardoino said: “Bitcoin being accepted as a legal tender by El Salvador represents what we have said all along: bitcoin has utility and is a viable option to fiat currencies.
“As we witness the implementation of digital currencies, I believe we will be seeing big steps for bitcoin.
“This is a huge step for the financial freedom of humanity and a monumental moment for bitcoin.”
The crypto markets reacted positively to the news with bitcoin’s price seeing some bullish movement on Wednesday and Thursday.
A temporary spike early on Thursday, June 10, saw BTC climb to more than 26,816.22 ($38,000) per token, according to Coindesk data.
As of 7.26pm on Thursday, the token is exchanging hands for £25,925.72 ($36,725.32).
But even El Salvador’s plans were not enough to recuperate losses sustained in the last two months.
After peaking at an all-time high of £45,765.23 (£45,765.23) in mid-April, BTC has been struggling to maintain the momentum.
Bitcoin, as with all cryptocurrencies, is extremely volatile and there is no telling where the price is going to swing tomorrow.
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Because of the inherent volatility in the market, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) considers all cryptoassets to be an all-risk investment.
The FCA said: “If you invest in cryptoassets, you should be prepared to lose all your money.”
If you have ever thought about purchasing cryptocurrencies, be aware of the risks involved.
You should never invest money you are not prepared to lose.
And yet, Mr Ardoino is feeling bullish about bitcoin’s future.
He said on Wednesday: “This current market pause is not unexpected.
“Everyone needs time to assess and digest what the community has built.
“We’re waiting for a new momentum to gather as we continue to build upon the foundations created by some of the greatest minds in fintech.
“I’m still extremely bullish in the long term about bitcoin and the long-term fundamentals and use cases of the technology.”