While more and more countries are recognizing the technological achievement that is bitcoin, Ecuador is seemingly taking a step back by effectively banning bitcoin and other digital currencies in a recent legislative vote, as reported by CoinDesk.
The ban came as part of a series of amendments to the financial law in the small South American country, of which there were reportedly 91 lawmaker votes in favor.
The amendment will allow the Ecuadorian government to make payments is “electronic money”, but slashes the potential for crypto-currencies that have seemingly been taking the financial world by storm .
The country’s national assembly issued the following statement:
[blockquote style=”2″]Electronic money will stimulate the economy, it will be possible to attract more Ecuadorian citizens, especially those who do not have checking or savings accounts and credit cards alone. The electronic currency will be backed by the assets of the Central Bank of Ecuador.[/blockquote]
While Ecuador wasn’t exactly a hotspot for bitcoin activity (specifically in terms of start-ups working in crypto-currency sector), it very well had the potential to be.
Argentinian company BitPagos had plans to expand their services to the country, but it looks like they’ll have to rethink that plan.
Just last month the Bolivian Central Bank banned digital currencies, making Ecuador the second country is South America to do so. What will be interesting will be whether or not this becomes a ‘trend’ of sorts among neighboring countries.
The bill will be soon signed into law soon by President Rafael Correa.