The Central African Republic (CAR) is the second country ever to adopt Bitcoin as its national currency, following the cryptocurrency’s approval by El Salvador last year.
CAR government says bill to adopt Bitcoin passed unanimously by country’s parliament, reports Reuters and BBC news† (Although former CAR Prime Minister Martin Ziguele complained that the bill had been approved “by proclamation”.) The office of CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera claimed the move would “improve the conditions of Central African citizens” and the CAR would be distinguished as “of the world’s boldest and most visionary countries.”
However, geopolitical analysts and financial experts are confused by the rationale for the move. CAR is a landlocked country that is rich in resources such as gold and uranium, yet remains one of the poorest countries in the world. It has been ravaged by civil wars since 2012, and only 11 percent of its 4.8 million inhabitants have internet access. It is one of six states in Africa that use the Central African CFA franc as its currency – “a regional currency backed by France and pegged to the euro,” according to law firm Baker McKenzie.
Some have suggested that CAR’s adoption of Bitcoin is an attempt to undermine the CFA franc and rebuke the country’s former colonial power, France. “It’s a big middle finger to the French economic system,” said Chris Maurice, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Yellow Card, which targets users in Africa. Reuters†
Others say the move may be related to CAR’s close relationship with Russia. CAR was one of the few countries to choose to abstain from a United Nations vote condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while condemning the country’s government for deploying mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner group to target rebel groups. to fight.
“The context, given the systemic corruption and a Russian partner facing international sanctions, encourages suspicion,” analyst Thierry Vircoulon of the French Institute of International Relations told AFP news agency (via BBC news†