Colombia’s new president seems to be a fan of Bitcoin

“Virtual currency is pure information and therefore energy,” said Gustavo Petro in 2021, in regard to mining crypto in Colombia.

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Gustavo Petro, who recently won the 2022 Colombian presidential election, has previously made statements in favor of cryptocurrencies.

Petro will replace Iván Duque Márquez as the president of Colombia on August 7 for four years after winning the second round of a run-off election on Sunday. The president-elect took to social media in December 2017 shortly after a major bull run to speak on the “strength” of Bitcoin (BTC). Petro hinted at the time that cryptocurrencies like BTC could remove power from government and traditional banks and give it back to the people.

His running mate, Francia Márquez, who will become the vice president of Colombia, has been largely silent on crypto-related policies. Some of the president-elect’s remarks from 2021 included a response to El Salvador President Nayib Bukele’s idea of building volcano-powered crypto miners in which he suggested that the country use the natural resources of its western coastline to mine crypto.

“Virtual currency is pure information and therefore energy,” said Petro at the time.

With Petro set to take office in August, the politician many have described as "leftist" will join other world leaders who have enacted policies or otherwise spoken in favor of crypto adoption. Bitcoin has been accepted as legal tender in El Salvador since September 2021. In April, Panama’s legislature approved a bill that would have created a regulatory framework for crypto, but President Laurentino Cortizo partially vetoed the measure in June, citing concerns about Anti-Money Laundering, or AML, rules.

Related: Colombia clamps down on crypto tax evasion as adoption thrives

With roughly 52 million people living in Colombia, the South American nation is one most active in crypto trading in the region, according to data compiled by Usefultulips. In February, major Latin American crypto exchange Bitso launched in Colombia as part of an effort to ​​promote adoption and financial inclusion.

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