Policy & Regulations

El Salvador Watchdog to Investigate Government Bitcoin Purchases, ATMs

The Court of Accounts received a complaint on Sept. 10 from the regional human rights and transparency organization Cristosal.

El Salvador’s public management watchdog will investigate a complaint over the government’s handling of bitcoin purchases and subsequent crypto ATMs, a regional human rights group announced Thursday.

The Court of Accounts, a constitutionally mandated state body responsible for the technical and legal control of the country’s Public Treasury, received a complaint on Sept. 10 from the regional human rights and transparency organization Cristosal, the group said.

Cristosal requested an audit of the authorization process for the purchase of bitcoin under its newly minted law, Reuters reported.

The watchdog has the power to impose administrative and asset sanctions and to present notices to the attorney general’s office asking for criminal proceedings to be brought forward.

El Salvador broke new ground this month after it officially recognized bitcoin as legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar on Sept. 7.

Cristosal’s complaint was made against six members of the board of directors of the Bitcoin Trust, which is made up of members from the Finance and Economic ministries.

“Having admitted the complaint, it will be proceeded to carry out the legal analysis report and, in a timely manner, forward such report to the General Audit Coordination,” the watchdog said.

Opposition to the country’s Bitcoin Law has been vocal with protests across the capital, San Salvador, taking place to denounce the law and President Nayib Bukele’s alleged corruption.

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