Salvadoran parliament greenlights Bitcoin-funded citizenship

The Salvadoran Congress has approved a controversial migration law allowing foreigners to gain expedited citizenship by making bitcoin “donations” to government programmes, the legislature announced late Wednesday.

The reform cites “vital interest” in funding President Nayib Bukele’s development projects. Altruistic foreigners can now skip El Salvador’s typical multi-year naturalisation process by supporting the country’s “economic, social and cultural development” with Bitcoin contributions. No minimum is specified.

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Bukele enacted bitcoin as legal tender in 2021, despite criticism over crypto’s volatility. With bitcoin trading around $43,741, the new law lets foreign boosters effectively buy citizenship.

The move comes amid Bukele’s re-election bid on Feb 4, which skirts a constitutional ban on consecutive terms. His cash-strapped government also seeks an IMF financing deal.