- El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele told US lawmakers "We are not your colony" and called them "boomers" Wednesday.
- The three senators have introduced legislation to mitigate the risks to the US from El Salvador's bitcoin adoption.
- The IMF has condemned El Salvador's adoption of bitcoin as legal tender, and Fitch has downgraded its rating.
El Salvador President Nayib Bukele has hit out at three US senators after the lawmakers introduced a bill to mitigate any financial risks to the US from the Central American country's adoption of bitcoin as legal tender.
Senators Jim Risch, Bob Menendez and Bill Cassidy put forward the proposed bipartisan legislation on Wednesday, calling on the State Department to report on El Salvador's crypto policy.
In swift response, Bukele told the lawmakers to stay out of his country's internal affairs, and tweeted the El Salvador flag with the words "Land of the Free."
"OK boomers …You have 0 jurisdiction on a sovereign and independent nation. We are not your colony, your back yard or your front yard," he said in tweet Wednesday.
"Stay out of our internal affairs. don't try to control something you can't control."
—Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) February 16, 2022
Bukele has hit out in the past at authorities questioning El Salvador's move to become the first country to adopt the cryptocurrency as legal tender in September.
In January, the 40-year-old president tweeted: "BREAKING: EL SALVADOR DGAF" in response to a warning from rating agency Moody's over the country's bitcoin investments. The letters are an acronym for "don't give a fuck".
Last week, Fitch Ratings downgraded El Salvador's credit further into junk territory in light of its bitcoin adoption, citing an $800 million bond due next year. The International Monetary Fund has also urged El Salvador to drop crypto, saying it could pose large risks to its financial and market integrity, and financial stability.
El Salvador has about 1,391 bitcoins in its coffers and may have lost an estimated $10 million amid the bitcoin rout in January, according to a recent Bloomberg analysis. As the market slumped, Bukele tweeted that he "bought the dip," adding 410 bitcoins to El Salvador's stash worth $15 million.
The US lawmakers echoed the IMF and ratings agencies' concerns in their introduction of the proposed "Accountability for Cryptocurrency in El Salvador (ACES) Act."
"El Salvador's adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender raises significant concerns about the economic stability and financial integrity of a vulnerable U.S. trading partner in Central America," Sen. Risch said in a statement.
Risch added that El Salvador's policy could weaken the impact of US sanctions on the Central American country, and in turn encourage malign actors such as China, as well as organized crime groups.
Sen. Cassidy's statement suggested the bitcoin move might open the door to illicit activities in the region, and emphasized the US must maintain the status of the dollar as the global reserve currency.
"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," Cassidy said in a statement.
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