Cryptocurrencies, central banks, and the Caribbean

In less than three months’ time, El Salvador intends becoming the first country in the world to make Bitcoin its official currency alongside the US Dollar. The country’s President, Nayib Bukele, a populist and media savvy disruptor, says that his decision will generate employment, enable the financial inclusion of tens of thousands of the country’s citizens who operate outside the formal economy, and enable its large diaspora in the US and elsewhere to send money to their families more cheaply. The idea is that the government will guarantee convertibility to dollars at the time of transaction through a US$150 Mtrust fund created at the country’s development bank BANDESAL.