Everything surrounding the ACES act is almost comedic. U.S. Senators Jim Risch, Bob Menendez, and Bill Cassidy introduced the “Accountability for Cryptocurrency in El Salvador” AKA the ‘‘ACES Act.’’ It’s bipartisan legislation that would allow the U.S. to produce a full report on El Salvador’s post-Bitcoin Law situation.
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As they see it, the justification is that Bitcoin can threaten “the role of the dollar as a reserve currency” and other buzz words like money laundering. In a press release by the United States Senate Committee On Foreign Relations, Senator Rish said:
“El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender raises significant concerns about the economic stability and financial integrity of a vulnerable U.S. trading partner in Central America. This new policy has the potential to weaken U.S. sanctions policy, empowering malign actors like China and organized criminal organizations. Our bipartisan legislation seeks greater clarity on El Salvador’s policy and requires the administration to mitigate potential risk to the U.S. financial system.”
To make it even more insulting and patronizing, Senator Cassidy added:
“El Salvador recognizing Bitcoin as official currency opens the door for money laundering cartels and undermines U.S. interests. If the United States wishes to combat money laundering and preserve the role of the dollar as a reserve currency of the world, we must tackle this issue head on.”
If you think that’s bad, wait until you read what the legislation actually says. But first…
Nayib Bukele Swiftly Responds
As an expert in social media, President Bukele wasted no time in sending the Senators a shot or two about their ACES act. “You have 0 jurisdiction on a sovereign and independent nation. We are not your colony, your back yard or your front yard. Stay out of our internal affairs. Don’t try to control something you can’t control,” Bukele tweeted.
You have 0 jurisdiction on a sovereign and independent nation.
We are not your colony, your back yard or your front yard.
Stay out of our internal affairs.
Don’t try to control something you can’t control 😉
— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) February 16, 2022
Then, Bukele posted a video of Joe Biden saying, “Nations have a right to sovereignty and territorial integrity. They have the freedom to set their own course, and choose with whom they will associate.” And added, “This includes El Salvador? Right? Right?”
This includes El Salvador? Right?
— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) February 16, 2022
A killer one-two punch.
What Does The ACES Act Actually Say?
The ACES act demands “the Secretary of State in coordination with the heads of other relevant Federal departments and agencies” to produce two reports. The first one, in no“later than 60 days,” they have to present a paper “on the adoption by the Government of El Salvador of a cryptocurrency as legal tender.”
The second report, which they have to present in no “later than 90 days,” consist of “a plan to mitigate any potential risk to the United States financial system posed by the adoption of a cryptocurrency as legal tender in El Salvador and any other country that uses the United States dollar as legal tender.”
The ACES act contains a veiled threat, it asks the commission to evaluate “El Salvador’s bilateral economic and commercial relationship with the United States and the potential for reduced use by El Salvador of the United States dollar.” It also contains a lot of veiled racism and admits that the U.S. Government imposes its will through sanctions. But enough interpretation, let’s go to the actual quotes.
BTC price chart for 02/17/2022 on BinanceUS | Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com
What Will The ACES Report Contain?
It starts with the basics, “A description of the process followed by the Government of El Salvador to develop and enact the Bitcoin Law.” It quickly goes into insulting, as it asks for “an assessment of “the technical capacity of El Salvador to effectively mitigate the financial integrity and cyber security risks associated with virtual-asset transactions.”
It also goes into threatening, as it asks “whether the regulatory framework in El Salvador meets the requirements of the Financial Action Task Force.” It attacks old FUD about Article 7 of the Bitcoin Law, while asking about “the impact on individuals and businesses of requiring tender of Bitcoin.”
Then, it goes for what they hope to be the embarrassing details. The ACES report asks for “the impact of such adoption of a cryptocurrency on:”
“The macroeconomic stability and public finances of El Salvador.”
“The rule of law and democratic governance in El Salvador.”
“The unbanked population in El Salvador.”
“The flow of remittances from the United States to El Salvador.”
And then ask questions everybody knows the answer to, such as “El Salvador’s relations with multilateral financial institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund and the Word Bank.” Or about, “existing United States sanctions, frameworks and the potential for the use of cryptocurrency to circumvent such sanctions.”
Conclusions And Future Plans
The process doesn’t end there. “Not later than 270 days after the submittal of the report,” the “relevant Federal departments and agencies” have to “submit to the appropriate committees of Congress an updated version of such report.” It has to include “a description of any significant development related to the risks to the United States financial system posed by the use of a cryptocurrency as legal tender in El Salvador.”
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Don’t be so afraid to say it, ACES act Senators. It’s not “a cryptocurrency,” it’s Bitcoin. The hardest money ever created traveling over the most secure and energy-efficient network. Bitcoin.
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