El Salvador’s Bitcoin Bond Delays Continue; Investor Interest Wanes: Report

The chief technology officer at Bitfinex and Tether said he hopes the bond can still be rolled out this year, despite a plunging bitcoin price.

AccessTimeIconAug 30, 2022 at 6:25 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:57 p.m. UTC
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El Salvador’s so-called Volcano Bond offering continues to face delays from a lack of investor interest and a legislative holdup, according to a report in Fortune.

President Najib Bukele announced plans to raise $1 billion via bonds backed by bitcoin (BTC) in November, shortly after El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. The offering was initially supposed to launch in early 2022, but it has faced delays, at least in part, thanks to plunging bitcoin prices.

El Salvador's Congress also must pass legislation necessary for issuance of the bond, though President Bukele's New Ideas party has a comfortable majority in the legislature. Speaking with Fortune, Bitfinex and Tether Chief Technology Officer Paolo Ardoino – who has worked closely with El Salvador on the bitcoin project – said government officials have told him to expect passage in September.

Should that happen, said Ardoino, he would expect another two to three months as enough time to have the Volcano Bond rolled out, suggesting the sale could come before the end of 2022.

El Salvador’s government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In February, El Salvador Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya said that the bond issue would take place between March 15 and March 20, but weeks later blamed the war between Ukraine and Russia for delaying the process. “We have the tools almost finished, but the international context will tell us,” he said at the time.

From last September to date, El Salvador has acquired 2,301 bitcoins for roughly $103.9 million, according to announcements compiled from Bukele. Those bitcoin are worth about $45 million currently. The most recent buy occurred on July 30, when the country purchased 80 coins at a price of $19,000 each.

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Nelson Wang

Nelson Wang was CoinDesk's news editor for the East Coast. He holds BTC and ETH above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.

Andrés Engler

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


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