Three senators are calling on the State Department to produce a report analyzing whether BTC presents "risks for cybersecurity, economic stability and democratic governance in El Salvador."
El Salvador's president has bluntly told U.S. politicians to "stay out of our internal affairs" as scrutiny grows over the country's adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender.
Three senators in Washington have warned that the country's radical move "raises significant concerns about the economic stability and financial integrity of a vulnerable U.S. trading partner in Central America."
The Accountability for Cryptocurrency in El Salvador Act calls on the State Department to produce a report analyzing whether BTC presents "risks for cybersecurity, economic stability and democratic governance in El Salvador."
If approved, officials would also be requested to formulate a plan to "mitigate any potential risks to the U.S. financial system as well."
President Nayib Bukele has criticized the senators behind the new bill — and on Twitter, he wrote:
"OK boomers… You have zero jurisdiction on a sovereign and independent nation. We are not your colony, your back yard or your front yard. Stay out of our internal affairs. Don't try to control something you can't control."
Bukele has taken an equally frosty approach with others who have sought to question his country's decision to elevate Bitcoin to the same status as the U.S. dollar — including the International Monetary Fund.
The controversial bill would require the State Department to produce this report within 60 days of the bill being enacted — and it would be expected to detail the process that El Salvador's government followed to develop the Bitcoin Law, the regulatory framework that the Central American nation follows, and the impact that digital assets are having on consumers and businesses.
Other areas of interest include how BTC has affected the country's unbanked population, the flow of remittances from the U.S. to El Salvador, and the country's relations with the IMF and the World Bank. Jim Risch, a Republican senator for Idaho who helped introduce the bill, warned of the Bitcoin Law:
"This new policy has the potential to weaken U.S. sanctions policy, empowering malign actors like China and organized criminal organizations. Our bipartisan legislation seeks greater clarity on El Salvador’s policy and requires the administration to mitigate potential risk to the U.S. financial system."
Bill Cassidy, the senior senator for Louisiana, argued that this isn't about meddling in El Salvador's affairs — but ensuring that America protects itself:
"El Salvador recognizing Bitcoin as official currency opens the door for money laundering cartels and undermines U.S. interests. If the United States wishes to combat money laundering and preserve the role of the dollar as a reserve currency of the world, we must tackle this issue head on."
Crypto advocates are being encouraged to call their senators and urge them to oppose the bill. Dennis Porter, a podcaster who is behind this campaign, said:
"We should not, as a nation, be meddling in the affairs of El Salvador to choose Bitcoin as a way to store their wealth."