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El Salvador Becomes First Country to Accept Bitcoin as Legal Tender

El Salvador has become the first country in the world to make Bitcoin legal tender. The announcement comes amid protest and uncertainty, as questions remain about the integration of cryptocurrency into the Salvadoran financial system.

Multiple surveys reveal the level of distrust within El Salvador towards the new law. A poll of 1233 Salvadorans run by Disruptiva at the beginning of July revealed that two-thirds of participants were not willing to be paid in Bitcoin.

Recent studies conducted in late August by El Salvador’s University of Central America (UCA) revealed a high level of negative sentiment towards the Bitcoin law. The survey found that 80% of 1281 Salvadorans polled had no trust in bitcoin and only 17% think it will improve the economy.

Since the announcement, lawmakers in both Paraguay and Uruguay have proposed their own bitcoin legislation. In mid-August, president of Argentina Alberto Fernandez told one of the nation’s media channels that he was open to making bitcoin legal tender in the country.

Countries in other parts of the world, especially those with currencies pegged to the United States dollar, are keen to see if Bitcoin could offer them more monetary autonomy.

However, Nelson Rauda Zablah of El Faro digital newspaper, urged empathy towards Salvadorans who are in effect becoming guinea pigs in the world’s first state-run cryptocurrency experiment. He called for those “cheering the president from the side-lines” to consider what it would be like if their own national economy was about to be tossed into a “virtual casino,” and it was “their own business, credit rating, pension scheme, or savings at stake.”

Bufete Casco-Fortín Cruz merges with ECIJA

After several months of joint collaboration, Bufete Casco-Fortin Cruz and ECIJA reached an agreement for the integration of their professional activities. The operation will also involve the integration of Expertis into ECIJA, a firm that has 8 offices in 6 countries in Central America: Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.

“It has been a very successful process, first the association with Expertis in Central America and the Caribbean, integrated by a group of professionals with an excellent professional and ethical capacity, and now the merger with ECIJA, allows us the most important incorporation in Ibero-American in legal matters and of the highest professional level. It means the introduction of legal modernity and innovation in the provision of legal services. We feel very encouraged and safe to be part of ECIJA, which is a recognized international law firm,” said Rosalinda Cruz, Managing Partner of Bufete Casco-Fortin, Cruz.

As a result of the merger, Bufete Casco-Fortin Cruz will operate under the ECIJA brand, offering its clients a full-service high added value practice, with an important differentiation consisting of ECIJA’s deep knowledge in the field of technology, new digital markets and innovation. Characteristics that earned ECIJA recognition for the third consecutive year as the Best Intellectual Property, New Technologies and Data Protection Firm, and as the Most Innovative Firm in Spain by the Expansión Awards.

In the words of Hugo Ecija, founder and CEO of ECIJA, “the goal of this transaction is to become the largest firm in Latin America. We do it together with of one of the most innovative players in the region, which also enjoys recognition within the market, which implies the best key to entering into future transactions in different Latin American countries in the short to medium term.” This merger involves the integration to ECIJA of 81 new professionals and 17 partners recognized by the most prestigious international directories in their different areas of practice, adding a total of 18 offices in 10 countries, more than 300 professionals in 2 continents, through its presence in Europe, United States and Latin America.

About Bufete Casco-Fortin, Cruz, firm member of Expertis

It is a full-service firm, with experience in all areas of business law and special recognition in the areas of Corporate, M&A, and Dispute Resolution for the most prestigious international rankings: Chambers & Partners, The Legal 500, IFLR, among others. Other areas of practice in which the firm stands out are legal representation of national and foreign companies in resolving disputes through Dispute Boards, Conciliations and Complex Arbitration. He has also excelled in legal advice on Public-Private Partnerships.

About ECIJA

With more than 20 years of experience, ECIJA has positioned itself as one of the best multidisciplinary and independent law firms in the Spanish market. Offering comprehensive legal services, regulatory compliance and cybersecurity consulting services.

In Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Lisbon, Santiago de Chile and Miami (where it has a representative office), ECIJA has a multidisciplinary team of more than 300 professionals, with exceptional experience in their areas of specialization, qualified to work in different jurisdictions, with extensive knowledge of different industries and international markets.