In the spring of 2022, the Central African Republic (CAR) became the first African country to adopt Bitcoin (BTC) as a legal tender.
As the second country globally to recognize Bitcoin in such a fashion, the CAR followed in El Salvador’s footsteps. El Salvador has since boasted surging tourism numbers, a resilient economy and a healthy amount of free PR since allowing its citizens to make everyday purchases with the seminal cryptocurrency.
The CAR, a substantially less economically developed economy than its Central American counterpart, would hope to emulate El Salvador’s success. Despite the nation’s vast natural resource wealth, the CAR is plagued by economic mismanagement, meager private and foreign investment, and systemic governmental issues.
It is one of the poorest countries on the poorest continent in the world, ranking right at the bottom of the World Bank’s Human Development Index. To make matters worse, up to 85% of the country’s exports are kept in French treasuries, while its currency of choice, the CFA franc, is heavily biased toward economic development in France. Consequently, tapping into a neutral, open-source and censorship-resistant monetary system such as Bitcoin could not only benefit but emancipate the country.
Similar to El Salvador, the CAR law would make Bitcoin “official money.” Naturally, this decision was lauded by Bitcoin advocates the world over. Plus, it appeared that CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, a mathematician and Bitcoin supporter on social media, was inclined to support the adoption of the unique cryptocurrency. The pro-Bitcoin tweets smack of El Salvador’s laser-eyed president, Nayib Bukele.
Mathematics is the #language of the Universe.#Bitcoin is universal money.
— Faustin-Archange Touadéra (@FA_Touadera) April 27, 2022
However, celebration and support for the country among the Bitcoin community were short-lived as, despite formal visits by Bitcoin-only proponents — including Galoy Money — the country began its own token project. Just days after the Bitcoin law came into effect, the country surprised the crypto…