Salvadoran Bitcoin Leader Buys $1.5 Million More


SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — The Salvadoran bitcoin president was back on Thursday, doubling his country’s loss in cryptocurrency investment by buying more than $1.5 million more.

President Nayib Bukele wrote on his Twitter account after posting the purchase: “Bitcoin is the future! Please sell at a low price.

Bukele said his government purchased 80 bitcoins at $19,000 each. This is less than half the average price the government paid for its previous stake of $105.6 million.

According to tracking site, since last September, El Salvador has paid an average of almost $46,000 per piece, for a loss of 56%, or around $59 million.

In mid-June, after the cryptocurrency fell below $20,000, Bukele wrote, “I see some people are worried or anxious about the #Bitcoin market price.”

“My advice: stop staring at the graph and enjoy life. If you have invested in #BTC, your investment is safe and its value will increase tremendously after the bear market,” he wrote at the time. “Patience is the key.”

Bukele became the world’s first leader to make the cryptocurrency legal tender last year and was still a dedicated booster in May when he bragged about “buying the dip” in the price of the currency. . But the coin has slipped further since then.

Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya sought to put a good face on the situation, saying El Salvador didn’t sell any of its bitcoin so it didn’t really suffer a loss.

However, most companies and governments write down the value of what accountants call an “unrealized loss,” even if they don’t sell the troubled asset.

Zelaya also insisted that the Bitcoin slide doesn’t matter much to El Salvador, saying his investment “isn’t even 0.5% of our budget.”

That could prove a tough sell in a country where about a fifth of the population lives on less than $5.50 a day.

In January, El Salvador rejected a recommendation from the International Monetary Fund to drop Bitcoin as legal tender.

The IMF has recommended that El Salvador dissolve the $150 million trust fund it created when it made cryptocurrency legal tender and return any of those unused funds to its treasury. The IMF has raised concerns about Bitcoin’s price volatility and the possibility of criminals using the cryptocurrency.

Bukele touted Bitcoin as a way to dramatically increase financial inclusion, attracting millions of people who previously didn’t have bank accounts in the financial system. He also talked about parallel tourism promotion targeting bitcoin enthusiasts.

Bukele led the push to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender alongside the US dollar. El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly made the country the first to do so in June 2021.

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