El Salvador’s Bitcoin Purchases Have Only Cost Money So Far

According to a report by Bloomberg, El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has cost the country money by buying Bitcoins.


Amount of Bitcoin is unknown

Judging by Bukele’s Twitter announcements, the Salvadoran president has bought 1,391 Bitcoin. According to Bloomberg, those purchases cost about $71 million, with an average price of $51,056 per Bitcoin.

Assuming the government still owns all of this Bitcoin, the total amount purchased is now worth roughly $59 million at today’s prices. Of course, these losses are only on paper now that Bukele has not yet sold Bitcoin.

Ricardo Castaneda, an economist at the Central American Institute of Fiscal Studies in El Salvador, said:

“There is no official information on how much Bitcoin the government has bought. Not even about the price they paid for it or how much is in reserve.”

This news comes amid a long series of controversies surrounding Bitcoin’s acceptance as legal tender by the Salvadoran president.


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Missing transparency

Castaneda is not alone in being concerned about the lack of transparency in El Salvador’s Bitcoin policy.

Last year, Nolvia told Serrano that there are “so many things not being disclosed” about El Salvador’s approach to purchasing Bitcoin. BlockBank’s Chief of Operations says the following:

“For example, who has the private keys of this Bitcoin? And what are the criteria for saying, ‘Oh, today we’re going to buy more Bitcoin. Or are we going to wait until next month?’ We do not know that.”

There is only one point of transparency that Bukele has offered so far. He buys the Bitcoin from El Salvador using his phone. But that’s not enough for Serrano. She added the following:

“There is no room to make wrong decisions. We need to be transparent because the cryptocurrency community cares about these principles. If the government does something completely separate from the ideas of Bitcoin, then you will not have the support of the Bitcoin community.”

Until now, however, that has not been the case.

Since Bukele announced that El Salvador would start using Bitcoin as legal tender, he has gained the very open support of some of Bitcoin’s biggest proponents. These include Michael Saylor, Jack Mallers and Peter McCormack.

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