Bitfinex became the first cryptocurrency exchange to be registered as a Digital Asset Service Provider (DASP) by El Salvador’s regulators.

The Latin American country is a pioneer in the industry, adopting bitcoin as legal tender in 2021. Under the rule of President Nayib Bukele, it bought up quantities of the main cryptocurrency on a macro level and launched numerous BTC-related initiatives.

“Glad to be the first”

In a recent blog postBitfinex described the authorization obtained by El Salvador’s National Digital Assets Commission as a milestone in its long-term strategy “to bring financial freedom and inclusion to communities and countries around the world.”

Paolo Ardoino, CTO of the platform, said that the entity is “delighted” to be the first with such a license. “It will allow Bitfinex Securities to facilitate the issuance and secondary trading of assets with clearly defined rights and obligations, as outlined in the new digital asset regulatory regime,” he explained.

The registry will also allow entities (from small companies to governments) to raise capital and interact with investors who trade in the asset class.

Jesse Knutson, head of trading at Bitfinex Securities, said that demand for products covered by the new regulations, such as tokenized stocks and yielding assets, has increased recently.

“Issuers are eager to access the digital asset market, attracted by the speed, profitability and ease of issuance compared to traditional assets. The digital asset market is a market that, at over $1 trillion in size, is still in its infancy but growing tremendously fast,” he added.

El Salvador’s newest cryptocurrency regulatory framework, the Digital Assets Issuance Law, came to light in January 2023 after receiving the green light from the National Congress. Its main objective is to support financial innovation and economic growth in the region.

The country’s authorities plan to take advantage of this legislation by regulating the operations of retail and institutional investors.

El Salvador: the land of Bitcoin

The small Central American nation, previously proclaimed the murder capital of the world, made headlines in September 2021 for stating bitcoin as an official payment method in its territory.

The government, led by President Bukele, initiated several projects related to the leading digital asset in the following years, such as accumulating BTC at the macroeconomic level, building a massive veterinary hospital where patients can use the asset as a method of payment, and design a high-tech city.

The so-called “Bitcoin City” will be located near the Conchagua and Tecapa volcanoes and will use its geothermal energy for self-sufficiency. It goes without saying that BTC will be the main coin, while the layout of the urban area will be in the shape of a circle so that it can represent the logo of the coin when viewed from above.

Bukele recently highlighted the asset as one of the main reasons for the increase in tourism levels and the fixed legacy of El Salvador:

“We have increased tourism by 95%, and that is partly due to Bitcoin. There are many bitcoiners who want to go to the country where bitcoin is legal tender, we have bitcoin conferences.”

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