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El Salvador Still Benefitting From Big Bitcoin Bet Says Finance Minister

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Alejandro Zelaya has highlighted the benefits of BTC.
  • Increased investments and a tourism boost are among them.
  • El Salvador is down 47% on its BTC investments.
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The finance minister of El Salvador has defended the country’s Bitcoin strategy, highlighting the benefits that it has provided.

In an interview on July 27, Alejandro Zelaya said that the implementation of Bitcoin as legal tender has enabled financial services to a largely unbanked population. It has also attracted foreign investment and boosted tourism, he added.

Not everyone agrees, especially now that the asset is in the depths of a bear market. The experiment has been criticized by the International Monetary Fund among others.

Zelaya remained unperturbed, however, stating that while its usage as a currency remains low, he is still a believer in digital money, adding:

“For some, it’s something new and something they don’t entirely understand, but it’s a phenomenon that exists and is gaining ground and will continue to be around in the coming years.”

Bitcoin projects are still on track

According to Bloomberg, the government is still planning to issue Bitcoin-backed bonds. Zelaya said this will happen when market conditions improve. The “Bitcoin City” plans are also still in motion and more incentives will be announced soon he added.

“We aren’t going to have results overnight. We can’t go to bed poor and wake up millionaires,” Zelaya commented.

“New technologies have shown how people in previous years were afraid of things like websites and digital business, but it’s been shown through time that reality imposes itself,” he added.

Zelaya said that he believes in the traditional, international monetary system just as he believes that “new technologies are going to help human beings in the future.”

El Salvador’s BTC stash currently stands at 2,381 coins worth $57 million at current prices. The country would be down 47%, or $50 million if it liquidated the lot today according to the Nayib Tracker website.

Earlier this week, President Nayib Bukele announced that the country had enough funding to voluntarily buy back sovereign debt bonds before they matured in 2023.

BTC Reclaims $24,000

Bitcoin and crypto markets are in the green today as BTC topped $24,000 for the first time in seven weeks during the morning hours of July 29.

At the time of press, BTC had cooled slightly to trade at $23,979 but it’s facing strong resistance at current levels. A technical recession following two quarters of negative GDP in the United States has not caused the crypto panic selling that many expected.

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Martin Young
Martin Young is a seasoned cryptocurrency journalist and editor with over 7 years of experience covering the latest news and trends in the digital asset space. He is passionate about making complex blockchain, fintech, and macroeconomics concepts understandable for mainstream audiences.   Martin has been featured in top finance, technology, and crypto publications including BeInCrypto, CoinTelegraph, NewsBTC, FX Empire, and Asia Times. His articles provide an in-depth analysis of...