With Market Crash, El Salvador Is Down $52M on Its Bitcoin Bet

The country has made $104 million in investments in the cryptocurrency since it made bitcoin legal tender last September.

AccessTimeIconJun 14, 2022 at 6:11 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:49 p.m. UTC

El Salvador’s bitcoin (BTC) holdings are now valued at $51.5 million, worth about half of the $104 million the country has invested in the cryptocurrency for its treasury in the 10 months since it made bitcoin legal tender last September.

Bitcoin’s price at press time was $22,400.

President Nayib Bukele has announced 10 purchases of bitcoin since September 2021, with the country at last check holding 2,301 bitcoins acquired at an average price of $45,171 each.

The country’s most recent buy was on May 9, when Bukele stepped in front of bitcoin’s decline then to purchase 500 coins for $15.3 million, or an average price of $30,744 each. Bukele, to this point, hasn't announced any purchases during the plunge of the past few days.

On Monday, El Salvador Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya said the bitcoin losses posed “extremely minimal” risk to his country’s fiscal position, noting the amount is less than 0.5% of the government's budget. He also is that any loss for now is unrealized because the country hasn’t sold any of its coins.


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Andrés Engler

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