El Salvador's BTC Bet Is $13M in Profit as Bitcoin ETF Approval Approaches

President Nayib Bukele hailed the investment as being "back in the black" last month.

AccessTimeIconJan 9, 2024 at 3:08 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 7:32 p.m. UTC

El Salvador is sitting on $12.6 million in unrealized profits on its bitcoin (BTC) investment after being in the red for two years, according to data from Nayibtracker.

The country started buying bitcoin in September 2021, paying between $47,250 and $52,670 for 700 BTC over the course of two weeks. President Nayib Bukele hailed the investment as being "back in the black" last month.

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  • In November 2022, Bukele said El Salvador would purchase one bitcoin a day for the foreseeable future. Assuming it has done so, the country has since added 419 BTC to its stash, bringing the total to 2,798 bitcoin ($131.3 million).

    El Salvador investment chart (Nayibtracker)
    El Salvador investment chart (Nayibtracker)

    Bitcoin has surged by 75% since October, buoyed by the impending approval of a spot bitcoin ETF in the U.S. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is expected to make a decision this week.

    In 2021, El Salvador became the first nation to adopt bitcoin. There is speculation that Argentina will be next following the appointment of President Javier Milei as the country battles a wave of hyperinflation.

    CORRECTION (Jan. 10, 16:11 UTC): Adds plan to purchase one bitcoin every day in third paragraph. An earlier version said the most recent purchase was November 2022.

    Edited by Sheldon Reback.

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    Oliver Knight

    Oliver Knight is a CoinDesk reporter based between London and Lisbon. He does not own any crypto.