El Salvador President Asks People to Be Patient, Says Bitcoin Value Will Grow After Bear Market

El Salvador’s Bitcoin-boosting president has asked people to be patient after the cryptocurrency price fell below $20,000(roughly Rs. 15,50,000) — less than half the price the government paid.

According to the tracking site nayibtracker.com, under President Nayib Bukele’s administration, El Salvador has spent about $105(roughly Rs.8,200) million on Bitcoin, starting last September and paying an average of almost $46,000(roughly Rs. 35, 90,000) per coin.

The value of that investment in the currency, also known as “BTC,” is now calculated to have fallen by over 57 percent, or around $61(roughly Rs. 4,800) million.

“I see that some people are worried or anxious about the #Bitcoin market price,” Bukele wrote on his Twitter account late Saturday. “My advice: stop looking at the graph and enjoy life. If you invested in #BTC, your investment is safe, and its value will immensely grow after the bear market.”

“Patience is the key,” the president wrote.

“””Bukele became the first leader in the world to make the cryptocurrency legal tender last year and was a devoted booster at least up to May when he boasted of “buying the dip” in the currency’s price. But the coin has slid further since then. On Tuesday, when a Bitcoin publication crowed that El Salvador has lost “only” $40(roughly Rs.3,200) million on its investment, Bukele tweeted with apparent incredulity: “You’re telling me we should buy more #BTC?”

Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya sought to put a good face on the situation Wednesday in an interview with a local television station, saying that because El Salvador hasn’t sold any of its Bitcoins, it hasn’t suffered any loss.

“When they tell me that El Salvador’s budgetary risk has increased because of the supposed loss, that loss doesn’t exist,” Zelaya said. “That must be made clear because we have not sold.”


However, most companies and governments write down the value of what accountants call an “unrealized loss,” even if they don’t sell the distressed asset.

Zelaya also insisted the Bitcoin slide doesn’t matter much for El Salvador, saying that “this doesn’t even represent 0.5 percent of our budget.”

That might prove a hard sell in a country where about one-fifth of the people live on less than $5.50(roughly Rs. 430) daily.

In January, El Salvador rejected a recommendation by the International Monetary Fund to drop Bitcoin as legal tender.

Zelaya said at the time that “no international organization is going to make us do anything, anything at all,” calling it an issue of “sovereignty.” The IMF cited concerns about the volatility of Bitcoin prices, and the possibility of criminals using the cryptocurrency. The IMF recommended that El Salvador dissolve the $150(roughly Rs.11,700) million trust fund it created when it made the cryptocurrency legal tender and return any unused funds to its treasury.

Bukele has touted Bitcoin to significantly increase financial inclusion, drawing millions of people who previously lacked bank accounts into the financial system. He has also spoken of the parallel tourism promotion targeting Bitcoin enthusiasts.

Bukele pushed to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender alongside the US dollar. El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly made the country the first to do so in June 2021.

Bella E. McMahon
I am a freelance writer who started blogging in college. I am fascinated by human nature, politics, culture, technology, and pop culture. In addition to my writing, I enjoy exploring new places, trying out new things, and engaging in conversations with new people. Some of my favorite hobbies are reading, playing music, making crafts, writing, traveling, and spending time with my family.