AP

El Salvador’s Bitcoin-boosting leader buys $1.5 million more

Jun 30, 2022, 8:34 AM | Updated: 8:36 pm

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — El Salvador’s Bitcoin-boosting president was back at it again Thursday, doubling down on his country’s losing investment in the cryptocurrency by buying over $1.5 million more.

President Nayib Bukele wrote on his Twitter acount after posting the purchase: “Bitcoin is the future! Thank you for selling cheap.”

Bukele said his government purchased 80 Bitcoins at $19,000 apiece. That is less than half the average price the government paid for its previous $105.6 million stake.

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

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

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

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

Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya has sought to put a good face on the situation, saying that because El Salvador hasn’t sold any of its Bitcoins, it hasn’t really suffered any loss.

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

Zelaya also insisted the Bitcoin slide doesn’t matter very much for El Salvador, saying that its investment “doesn’t even represent 0.5% of our budget.”

That might prove a hard sell in a country where about one-fifth of the people live on less than $5.50 per day.

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

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

Bukele has touted Bitcoin as a way to significantly increase financial inclusion, drawing millions of people who previously lacked bank accounts into the financial system. He has also spoken of the parallel tourism promotion targeting Bitcoin enthusiasts.

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

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Image: The Alabama State Capitol is seen on May 15, 2019 in Montgomery, Alabama....

Associated Press

Alabama Supreme Court rules frozen embryos are ‘children’ under state law

Critics say the Alabama embryo ruling may have sweeping implications for fertility treatments.

13 hours ago

Image: People take cover during a shooting at Union Station during the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bow...

Associated Press

Two men charged with murder at Kansas City Chiefs parade

Minutes after Kansas City Chiefs players spoke at a victory celebration Wednesday, multiple people near the parade route were carried away on stretchers.

14 hours ago

Image: A sign is on display above an ATM at a Capital One Café in Miami on Monday, Feb. 19, 2024. ...

Associated Press

Capital One to buy Discover for $35B in deal combining major US credit card companies

The deal would bring together two of the nation's credit card companies as well as potentially shake up the payments industry.

20 hours ago

Image: The Minnesota state flag is displayed in the state Capitol building rotunda, March 24, 2022,...

Associated Press

2 officers, 1 first responder killed at the scene of a domestic call in Minnesota; suspect dead

Two police officers and one first responder were shot and killed early Sunday while responding to a domestic abuse call in a Minneapolis suburb.

3 days ago

Image: Former President Donald Trump attends the closing arguments in the Trump Organization civil ...

Associated Press

Donald Trump fraud verdict: $364 million penalty in civil fraud case

A New York judge ruled Friday against Donald Trump, imposing a $364 million penalty over what was ruled was a yearslong scheme to dupe banks and others.

5 days ago

Image: Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs, left, celebrates with Taylor Swift after defeating t...

Associated Press

Taylor Swift gives $100K to family of woman killed in Chiefs parade shooting

Taylor Swift donated $100,000 to the family of Lisa Lopez-Galvan, the woman killed in the shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl victory parade.

5 days ago

El Salvador’s Bitcoin-boosting leader buys $1.5 million more