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Top U.S. diplomat hopes El Salvador, IMF will settle bitcoin row

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Men buy snacks at a store where bitcoins are accepted at El Zonte Beach in Chiltiupan, El Salvador June 16, 2021. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas/File Photo

SAN SALVADOR, June 30 (Reuters) - A top U.S. diplomat said on Wednesday that she hoped El Salvador and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will complete a financing agreement following the country's dramatic move to make bitcoin a legal tender.

El Salvador's Congress has already approved President Nayib Bukele's proposal to embrace the cryptocurrency, making the country the first in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender on Sept. 7. read more

The IMF said last week that discussions between its staff and El Salvador were ongoing, reiterating that it remained concerned over the decision.

Victoria Nuland, U.S. undersecretary for political affairs, had met on Wednesday with Bukele as part of her tour to the region. read more

El Salvador's law means that bitcoin will be on an equal footing with the dollar, which became its official currency 20 years ago.

The Central American country is in talks with the IMF for a nearly $1 billion financing agreement.

Reporting by Nelson Renteria in San Salvador Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Kim Coghill

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