El Salvador President Nayib Bukele announced that the country now owns 700 Bitcoin, after purchasing another 150.
The President announced the purchase via Twitter, stating “We just bought the dip.”. In a reply post, Bukele said “They can never beat you if you buy the dips,” adding that this was now “Presidential advice”. Although Bukele’s passion project of introducing Bitcoin as legal tender in the country is still underway, it is not without its hurdles.
To facilitate the introduction of Bitcoin as legal tender, the government established a $150 million fund to finance the necessary infrastructure. Since then, the government has been in a flurry to introduce the ‘Chivo’ wallet and associated cryptocurrency ATMs. As of this week, there are currently over 200 Bitcoin ATMs across the country.
According to Coin ATM Radar, El Salvador now has the third-highest number of bitcoin ATMs across the world. Only the United States and Canada now have more. In total, El Salvador’s bitcoin ATMs account for 0.7% of all such machines worldwide, while the US and Canada lead with 86.4% and 6.6%, respectively.
Meanwhile, as the government continues its rollout, El Salvador’s Court of Accounts said it would investigate how the government makes its Bitcoin purchases, following complaints. The court’s investigation will also include looking into the construction of kiosks for cryptocurrency ATMs. A complaint the court received on Sept 10 from regional human rights and transparency organization Cristosa prompted the investigation.
“Having admitted the complaint, it will be proceeded to carry out the legal analysis report and, in a timely manner, forward such report to the General Audit Coordination,” the Court of Accounts said in an official document.
The Court of Accounts oversees the country’s public resources and can impose sanctions against officials who cannot resolve issues. The court is also empowered to present notices to the Attorney General’s Office if it finds irregularities in its investigations, which could initiate criminal proceedings. Most Salvadorans are against the government’s adoption of Bitcoin, with many citing concerns of corruption, while others say they simply don’t understand cryptocurrencies.
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