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.
  • Bitcoin Ecosystem Developments in 2023 as BTC Hits Fresh 2023 High
    08:42
    Bitcoin Ecosystem Developments in 2023 as BTC Hits Fresh 2023 High
  • Bitcoin Extends Rally as $1B in BTC Withdrawals Suggests Bullish Mood
    01:10
    Bitcoin Extends Rally as $1B in BTC Withdrawals Suggests Bullish Mood
  • Why Financial Advisors Are So Excited About a Spot Bitcoin ETF
    1:02:43
    Why Financial Advisors Are So Excited About a Spot Bitcoin ETF
  • When Could Traders See the Arrival of a Spot Bitcoin ETF?
    02:21
    When Could Traders See the Arrival of a Spot Bitcoin ETF?
  • Disclosure

    Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

    CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

    Andrés Engler

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