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On Wednesday, the landlocked nation of the Central African Republic become the second country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender after El Salvador.

"This move places the Central African Republic on the map of the world's boldest and most visionary countries," presidential chief of staff Obed Namsio told AFP.

The country's National Assembly unanimously passed the bill, allowing President Faustin-Archange Touadera to sign it into law this week.

Home to 4.7 million people, the country will use Bitcoin as the national currency along with the Central African CFA franc, a currency which is also used in six African countries: Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon. 

The CFA franc, which is guaranteed by the French Treasury, has long been controversial for its link to imperialist French monetary policy. Critics say the fixed exchange rate, imposed by the former colonial power France, is "vulnerable to being a pawn on international markets to the detriment of African economies."

While many tout the benefits of Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation, the CFA franc, paradoxically, boasts a lower inflation rate (roughly 4.8% a year) than even the American dollar.

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The country has one of the world's lowest per capita incomes in the world at roughly $400 a year, and its economy is largely concentrated in the mining sector, especially the mining of diamonds, gold, and uranium.

It is also significant that only 4% of CAR's population has internet access, prompting questions about how the country plans to move ahead with crypto adoption in a country where few will be able to get online to make transactions.

El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as legal tender in September 2021, but the decision was harshly criticized by groups like the International Monetary Fund — which recommended the country drop Bitcoin — due to the "large risks associated with the use of Bitcoin on financial stability, financial integrity, and consumer protection." The international organization has also criticized the government's controversial decision to issue "volcano bonds," or Bitcoin-backed bonds. 

Others have highlighted Bitcoin mining's high environmental footprint and claim the cryptocurrency can be a conduit for money-laundering.

The IMF also advised El Salvador to improve regulations around cryptocurrency to protect consumers and terminate the $30 registration incentive for using the government's crypto wallet “Chivo.” 

However, politicians inside El Salvador have decried the IMF's stance as undermining its monetary sovereignty. “No international organization is going to make us do anything, anything at all,” said El Salvador's Treasury Minister Alejandro Zelaya. "Countries are sovereign nations and they take sovereign decisions about public policy."