El Salvador’s Bitcoin Bond Issuance Apparently Delayed

The country’s finance minister had previously suggested the bond sale could be launched as soon as this week.

AccessTimeIconMar 18, 2022 at 7:19 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:59 p.m. UTC

El Salvador’s $1 billion in so-called "volcano bonds" have yet to hit the market, with volatile international conditions likely a key culprit in the delay.

  • Last week, El Salvador Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya - who previously said the bond sale could come between March 15 and March 20 - noted the war between Ukraine and Russia could slow the process. “We have the tools almost finished, but the international context will tell us,” he told a local TV station.
  • Indeed, while legislators in El Salvador still had work to do regarding the bonds, lawmakers over the past week or two have instead been preoccupied with the repercussions - supply chain shocks among them - of the Ukraine war. As of March 15, the laws necessary for the bonds had not been sent to Congress, according to a report from local newspaper La Prensa Gráfica.
  • In November 2021, President Nayib Bukele announced plans to build a “Bitcoin City” funded by the sale of the bonds, which have an annual coupon of 6.5%. Half of the funds will be used to accumulate bitcoin (BTC), with the rest earmarked for infrastructure and bitcoin mining powered by geothermal energy.
  • As of press time, no representative of the Salvadoran government had made an announcement regarding the bitcoin bond, and President Bukele's office did not respond to CoinDesk's inquiries about a new estimated date.
  • A report in the Financial Times adds a bit more intrigue, saying the bonds will not be issued by the government of El Salvador, but instead by state-owned thermal energy company La Geo. Further, Americans will not be eligible to buy the paper, as it will trade on Bitfinex, which isn’t available in the U.S.


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Andrés Engler is a CoinDesk editor based in Argentina, where he covers the Latin American crypto ecosystem. He holds BTC and ETH.

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