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Tanzania became the latest country to signal its support for digital assets this weekend as its president instructed financial authorities to prepare for widespread use of cryptocurrencies, elevating bitcoin prices further after El Salvador became the first country to make bitcoin legal tender last week and Elon Musk outlined plans for Tesla to resume accepting bitcoin as a form of payment. 

Bitcoin

Woman's hands hold Gold Bitcoin on a thread

getty

Key Facts

President Samia Suluhu Hassan called on the Tanzanian Central Bank Sunday to begin “working on” facilitating widespread use of cryptocurrencies in the East African nation. 

While many in Tanzania have not yet embraced decentralized finance, Hassan said the Central Bank should “be ready for the changes and not be caught unprepared.”

Hassan is one of the most senior politicians to signal support for digital assets since El Salvador voted to adopt bitcoin as legal tender last week and helped give the flagging market a boost.

The announcement helped bitcoin gain nearly 10% in 24 hours, nearly reaching $40,000 a token Monday morning.

The token was also buoyed on by news that Tesla would resume its use of bitcoin when there is proof the asset is obtained using around 50% clean energy. 

 

What To Watch For

There is growing popular support for bitcoin adoption in Nigeria that also gained momentum over the weekend. Russell Okung, an NFL player of Nigerian descent, penned an open letter to the Nigerian president imploring the country to adopt a Bitcoin standard so as to avoid “falling behind.” Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, one of the most high profile crypto enthusiasts, tweeted his support of the idea a number of times over the weekend. 

Key Background

While reaching its highest point in several weeks, bitcoin, along with the wider crypto market, is still recovering from a tailspin that rapidly wiped over $700 billion from the market’s value. This slump was primarily induced by Tesla announcing it would no longer accept bitcoin due to environmental concerns and China cracking down on the assets. Support from the likes of El Salvador, alongside other countries and banks that may begin to adopt bitcoin, or other cryptocurrency tokens, the market has slowly started to recover, though remains volatile. Beyond Tanzania, lawmakers in a number of Latin American countries have expressed at least a casual interest in following El Salvador’s footsteps, including Brazil and Panama. 

Further Reading

El Salvador Makes History As World’s First Country To Make Bitcoin Legal Tender (Forbes)

Tanzanian president urges central bank to prepare for crypto (Coin Telegraph)