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El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele in the Legislative Assembly building in San Salvador, El Salvador, last Tuesday. Photo: Camilo Freedman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele said Saturday he will send a bill to the Central American country's Congress next week to make bitcoin legal tender.

Why it matters: If the legislation is passed by lawmakers, El Salvador would become the first country to formally adopt the digital currency.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • Jack Mallers, founder of the Lightning Network payments platform Strike, which is working with Bukele on the project, noted at the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami, Florida, Saturday: "Over 70% of the active population of El Salvador doesn't have a bank account. They're not in the financial system."

What they're saying: Bukele said in a video message to the conference that in the short term, formally adopting bitcoin "will generate jobs and help provide financial inclusion to thousands outside the formal economy."

The big picture: Over 2 million Salvadorans live outside the country and send home some $4 billion every year, with remittances making up about 20% of the country's GDP, per the BBC.

  • Bukele didn't go into details on how the policy would work. But he said it would be used alongside the U.S. dollar, which the nation has used as its official unit of currency since 2001.

Go deeper: U.S. plans crypto crackdown

Go deeper

Updated 33 mins ago - Health

CDC: Vaccinated people in COVID hotspots should resume wearing masks

CDC director Rochelle Walensky and top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci at a Senate HELP committee hearing. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued updated guidance on Tuesday recommending that vaccinated people wear masks in indoor, public settings if they are in parts of the U.S. with substantial to high transmission, among other circumstances.

Why it matters: The guidance, a reversal from recommendations made two months ago, comes as the Delta variant continues to drive up case rates across the country. Millions of people in the U.S. — either by choice or who are ineligible — remain unvaccinated and at risk of serious infection.

Olympics medal tracker

Data: International Olympic Committee; Chart: Connor Rothschild/Axios
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. students fell 4 to 5 months behind during pandemic

An empty classroom in Pinole, Calif. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Elementary school students in the U.S. ended the school year four to five months behind their expected level of academic achievement, according to a new report.

Why it matters: Months of school closures and often inferior remote education eroded what schoolchildren would have learned since the pandemic began, and caused some to go backwards.