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El Salvador’s BTC ATMs Receive Complaints; Govt Body To Investigate

El Salvador’s BTC ATMs Receive Complaints; Govt Body To Investigate

The country’s public resources watchdog, Court of Accounts, will investigate complaints about the government’s bitcoin purchases and the construction of crypto ATM kiosks. 

Complaint Lodged Against BTC ATMs

The Latin American nation of El Salvador has been in the news lately for being the first country in the world to use BTC as legal tender. Along with passing the BTC bill, the government, led by President Nayib Bukkele, also established over 200 ATMs to convert BTC to dollars and withdraw cash. However, the rollout of these ATMs and the Chivo wallet app was not quite smooth. As a result, it has drawn the ire of a regional human rights and transparency organization, Cristosal, who lodged a complaint with the Court of Accounts on September 10. 

In the complaint, Cristosal has also called for an audit of the authorization processes behind the President’s decision to buy a total of 550 BTC. The organization has also brought into attention the construction process for the Chivo ATM booths, which were funded by public resources. The complaint named 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.

Court Of Accounts Takes Action

The Court of Accounts is a government body that oversees public resources and can impose administrative and asset sanctions against officials who cannot solve shortcomings. Furthermore, the group can also appeal to the Attorney General’s Office to initiate criminal proceedings if it discovers irregularities in its investigations. 

As per an official document, the Court of Accounts disclosed, 

“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.” 

El Salvador In ‘Ratings’ Trouble

The landmark move by El Salvador has raised eyebrows globally. Financial analysis company S&P Global has declared that the decision might spell bad news for the country’s credit rating. The company has further stated that the move will further alienate the IMF, weaken the fiscal economy and land lending institutions like banks in trouble. 

"The risks associated with the adoption of bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador seem to outweigh its potential benefits. There are immediate negative implications for (the) credit".

As of now, S&P Global grades El Salvador with a ‘stable’ rating, implying that it could drop depending on how the country handles the change. Another financial analysis company, Moody’s, has also lowered El Salvador’s rating to Caa1 (or a B-), with a warning for further possible downgrade.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.