El Salvador buys 150 more bitcoins
By Daniel Tyson
14:33, 22 September 2021
El Salvador has purchased another 150 bitcoins, bring its total ownership of the cryptocurrency to 700, or slightly above $27.7m (£20.28m).
In a tweet earlier this week, President Nayib Bukele said the Central American nation purchased the digital asset when the price dropped below $45,000 per coin.
“They can never beat you if you buy the dips,” the tech-savvy president tweeted.
Since that time, bitcoin has continued to drop in value. At 10 am EDT Wednesday the world’s largest cryptocurrency was selling at $42,476.74
El Salvador, the first and only country to recognise bitcoin as legal tender, has been purchasing bitcoin since 7 September when the Bitcoin Law went into effect. The law led to hundreds of Salvadorians taking to the streets in protest. Many were retirees and government workers, who worried their pensions and salaries would be paid in bitcoin instead of US dollars, the other legal currency in El Salvador.
Bukele recently tweeted 1.6 million Salvadorians now have the Chivowallet app to use bitcoin.
On the day the law went into effect, the Buleke administration spent $20.77m purchasing 400 bitcoins at nearly $52,000 each to encourage Salvadorians to follow.
However, the trading app crashed on the first day and the country saw its bitcoin investment lose more than $3m.
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The Bukele administration said it will continue to purchase bitcoins, to revamp the country’s struggling economy. Roughly 20% of El Salvador’s gross domestic product comes from remittances, the highest in the world.
It’s too early to tell how bitcoin will affect Salvadorians receiving funds from abroad. It has been estimated that eliminating remittance transfer fees would add $400m to El Salvador’s $26bn economy.
Bukele promised bitcoin would reduce fees associated with remittance, but that has yet to be seen. Local press accounts detail citizens paying high fees at the 200 bitcoin ATMs set up around the country.