"No international organization is going to make us do anything," the country's treasury minister says.
El Salvador has issued a more formal — and angry — response to the International Monetary Fund's pleas for the country to abandon Bitcoin as legal tender.
The Central American nation's treasury minister, Alejandro Zelaya, furiously told a local television channel:
"No international organization is going to make us do anything, anything at all … Countries are sovereign nations and they take sovereign decisions about public policy."
Zelaya went on to add that El Salvador has taken great care to ensure that BTC transactions comply with money laundering rules.
President Nayib Bukele has sparked controversy by investing public funds worth tens of millions of dollars into Bitcoin — and making purchases from his smartphone on a whim whenever the cryptocurrency's value falls.
Last week, the IMF said BTC's use creates "large risks" when it comes to "financial stability, financial integrity and consumer protection" — and warned that El Salvador's public debt is currently on an "unsustainable path."
"In the near-term the actual costs of implementing Chivo and operationalizing the Bitcoin Law exceed potential benefits."
When the IMF's warning first came to light, he simply responded with a meme from The Simpsons. And in recent days, he's been doubling down on Bitcoin's potential:
"There are more than 50 million millionaires in the world. Imagine when one of them decides they should own at least ONE Bitcoin. But there will ever be only 21 million Bitcoin. Not enough for even half of them. A gigantic price increase is just a matter of time."