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President Nayib Bukele, giving a speech in El Salvador's legislative assembly in San Salvado earlier this month, pushed for bitcoin to become legal tender. Photo: Emerson Flores/APHOTOGRAFIA/Getty Images

The World Bank has rejected the government of El Salvador's request to help the country implement Bitcoin as legal tender, Reuters first reported late Wednesday.

Why it matters: The international lender's rejection could hamper the government's goal of making the digital currency accepted across the country within three months.

Driving the news: El Salvador's legislature last week became the first in the world to vote in favor of formally adopting bitcoin, with plans to use it alongside the U.S. dollar, the nation's official currency.

  • Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya said earlier Wednesday that the government had asked the World Bank for "technical assistance" in implementing the cryptocurrency, per the BBC.
  • Zelaya said government officials had also held talks with the International Monetary Fund, which he said was "not against" the plans.

What they're saying: A World Bank spokesperson confirmed to Reuters that "the government did approach us for assistance on bitcoin," but said it couldn't directly help "given the environmental and transparency shortcomings" of bitcoin.

  • "We are committed to helping El Salvador in numerous ways including for currency transparency and regulatory processes," the spokesperson said.
  • An IMF spokesperson told reporters last week: "Adoption of bitcoin as legal tender raises a number of macroeconomic, financial and legal issues that require very careful analysis."

Go deeper: El Salvador moves into bitcoin

Go deeper

Bitcoin’s code upgrade is about privacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Bitcoin’s most significant code improvement in years won a key stamp of approval this weekend, reports CoinDesk’s Christie Harkin.

Why it matters: Over three years in the making, Taproot represents the ability for bitcoin to one day do more than be a store of value: think more nimble smart contracts (similar to those on Ethereum) and better usability.

31 mins ago - Sports

NFL to fine unvaccinated players $14K for violating COVID-19 protocols

Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs wears a facemask while preparing for the start of Super Bowl LV. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The NFL will fine unvaccinated players $14,650 if they violate COVID-19 protocols this season, ESPN reports.

The big picture: The rule change comes two days after the NFL announced that postponed games due to coronavirus outbreaks among unvaccinated players or staffers will not be rescheduled and teams responsible for delays will automatically forfeit.

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