El Salvador's legislature voted early Wednesday to make bitcoin legal tender.
Why it matters: El Salvador will become the first country to formally adopt the digital currency once President Nayib Bukele signs the legislation into law.
Driving the news: Bukele, who pushed for the move, had hours earlier sent the legislation to the country's Congress.
- The legislation states, "The purpose of this law is to regulate bitcoin as unrestricted legal tender with liberating power, unlimited in any transaction, and to any title that public or private natural or legal persons require carrying out."
- Bukele said at an event Wednesday morning that the law would require "all businesses to accept bitcoin," but the government would "act as a backstop for entities that aren't willing to take on the risk of a volatile cryptocurrency," per CoinDesk.
The big picture: More than 70% of El Salvador's population doesn't have a bank account.
- According to Bukele, Bitcoin "has a market cap of $680 billion" and if 1% of it is invested in El Salvador, "that would increase our GDP by 25%."
Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.