El Salvador Refuses IMF Demand to Drop Bitcoin, Reaps Benefits

Last Updated: 8 January 2024

• In March 2022, Argentina accepted a $45 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that included a clause to discourage cryptocurrency use.
• In January 2022, El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as legal tender, causing large-scale protests and drawing criticism from the IMF.
• Despite warnings from the IMF and fears of instability, El Salvador has been flourishing since its decision to embrace Bitcoin.

Argentina’s Anti-Crypto Clause

In March 2022, Argentina was in desperate need of a bailout and accepted a $45 billion package offered by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). To secure this loan, Economy Minister Martín Guzmán and central bank president Miguel Pesce were obliged to sign a letter of intent containing an anti-crypto clause. This stipulated that cryptocurrencies would be discouraged in order to “prevent money laundering” and “to further safeguard stability”. At the time inflation was already at 52.3%, but it has now risen to 104.3% over the course of just one year – showing how much Argentinians have suffered due to this clause.

El Salvador Adopts Bitcoin

Around the same time as Argentina was preparing for its bailout, El Salvador made headlines by announcing that it would make Bitcoin legal tender within its borders – despite widespread protests and fear of instability. The IMF warned President Bukele of potential risks associated with such a move and threatened not to offer any more loans if he continued with his plans. Despite this pressure, El Salvador decided to go ahead anyway in January 2022 – making it one of the first countries in the world to adopt Bitcoin into law.

The IMF’s Response

The response from both sides was starkly different when it came to dealing with pressure from the IMF regarding cryptocurrency adoption or discouragement respectively: Argentina had no choice but to comply with their demand for an anti-crypto clause while El Salvador actively refused their warning not to pursue crypto adoption as legal tender within their country borders.

The Result

It is clear which country has fared better since then: despite fears that it might bring instability and inflation, El Salvador is now flourishing thanks to its pro-Bitcoin stance while Argentina’s economy continues suffering under high levels of inflation due mainly in part due their anti-crypto clause imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).


It appears that El Salvador made a wise decision choosing not bow down under pressure from the IMF when deciding on whether or not they should accept cryptocurrencies as legal tender within their borders – despite fears that such an action may lead them into economic hardship or even disaster . On the other hand , Argentina did not have as much freedom when deciding on accepting an anti-cryptocurrency clause for their bailout package which ultimately proved disastrous for them economically speaking .

  • Florian Feidenfelder

    Florian Feidenfelder is a seasoned cryptocurrency trader and technical analyst with over 10 years of hands-on experience analyzing and investing in digital asset markets. After obtaining his bachelor's degree in Finance from the London School of Economics, he worked for major investment banks like JP Morgan, helping build trading systems and risk models for blockchain assets.

    Florian later founded Crypto Insights, a leading research firm providing actionable intelligence on crypto investments to hedge funds and family offices worldwide. He is the author of the bestseller "Mastering Bitcoin Trading" and has been featured in prominent publications like the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Barron's for his insights on blockchain technologies.

    With extensive knowledge spanning the early days of Bitcoin to today's explosive DeFi landscape, Florian lends his real-world expertise to guide both new entrants and seasoned professionals in capitalizing on the wealth-creating potential of crypto trading while effectively managing its inherent volatility risks.

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