Cryptocurrency ATM Kiosks, Bitcoin Purchase-Related Complaints to Be Investigated by El Salvador Body

Bitcoin was adopted as legal tender by El Salvador earlier this month.

Cryptocurrency ATM Kiosks, Bitcoin Purchase-Related Complaints to Be Investigated by El Salvador Body

Athena’s Bitcoin ATMs in El Salvador can be used to buy the cryptocurrency or sell them for cash

Highlights
  • The government has also launched a digital wallet called Chivo
  • Chivo is linked to newly-built cryptocurrency cash machines
  • Its roll out has been plagued by glitches

El Salvador's Court of Accounts, which oversees its public resources, will investigate a complaint about the government's Bitcoin purchases and the construction of kiosks for cryptocurrency ATMs, according to a document seen by Reuters.

El Salvador this month became the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, a move championed by the country's popular President Nayib Bukele. Bitcoin price in India stood at Rs. 37.29 lakhs as of 11am IST on September 17.

The government has also launched a digital wallet, Chivo, which is linked to newly-built cryptocurrency cash machines that allow users to withdraw physical money from their digital Bitcoin holdings. Its roll out has been plagued by glitches.

The Court of Accounts, which can impose administrative and asset sanctions against officials who cannot solve shortcomings, said it received a complaint on September 10 from a regional human rights and transparency organisation, Cristosal, about Bitcoin implementation in El Salvador.

Cristosal requested an audit of the authorisation processes for the purchase of Bitcoins and to review the construction of the booths used for the ATMs linked to the digital wallet of Chivo, a company established with public resources.

Cristosal's complaint was against six members of the Board of Directors of the Bitcóin Trust, consisting of members of the Finance and Economy ministries, as well as the secretariat of Commerce and Investments.

"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 reviewed by Reuters.

One Cristosal official, who was not authorised to speak about the matter, confirmed the complaint has been accepted.

On top of sanctioning officials, the Court of Accounts is empowered to present notices to the Attorney General's Office to initiate criminal proceedings in case it finds irregularities in their investigations.

President Bukele's government did not immediately respond to request for comment.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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