El Salvador: Finance Minister Says Time Still Not Right for Bitcoin Bond Launch

El Salvador: Finance Minister Says Time Still Not Right for Bitcoin Bond Launch

El Salvador authorities have stated once again that a suitable time for the launch of the country’s highly anticipated $1 billion Bitcoin Bond has not arrived. Salvadoran finance minister Alejandro Zelaya says the current market downturn partly triggered by the raging Russia-Ukraine war makes embarking on such projects unfeasible, reports The Block on June 3, 2022.

El Salvador’s Bitcoin Bond on Hold

Investors and supporters of El Salvador’s project Chivo may need to wait a bit longer for the rollout of the country’s proposed $1 billion Bitcoin Bond, which is expected to generate funds for the completion of the highly talked-about world’s first volcano-powered Bitcoin City.

Per sources close to the latest development, Alejandro Zelaya, El Salvador’s finance minister, made it clear during a national television news show on June 1, 2022, that the time is not right for the Bitcoin Bond launch. Zelaya, who previously served as the country’s deputy minister of revenue, cited the current downturn in the global financial markets fueled by the war in Ukraine as a major factor. 

It will be recalled that the Bitcoin Bond issuance was scheduled for kick-off earlier in March, however, Zelaya announced a push back of the massive project on March 22, citing unfavorable market conditions.

El Salvador Bullish on Bitcoin Despite Serious Criticism

El Salvador became the world’s first sovereign state to officially adopt bitcoin (BTC) and make it legal tender alongside its fiat currency on September 7, 2021, when its Bitcoin Law went live, with the President Nayib Bukele administration purchasing 400 BTC to mark the landmark event amidst mixed reactions from both locals and the international community.

Since that time, president Bukele and his team have not looked back, taking advantage of the slump in the bitcoin price to beef up El Salvador’s BTC holdings, despite condemnation by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and even authorities in the United States. 

As reported by crypto.news earlier in February 2022, the IMF urged El Salvador to dump project Chivo and denounce bitcoin as a legal tender. However, the country rejected the push, with finance minister Zelaya stating categorically that the country would resist all external forces trying to press them to abandon the project.

In the same vein, in April, U.S. Congresswoman Norma J.Torres representing California’s 35th district floated a bill dubbed the Accountability for Cryptocurrency in El Salvador (ACES) Act, which aims to bring an end to El Salvador’s bitcoin adoption journey.

Despite the gloomy crypto markets outlook, with analysts estimating that El Salvador has so far lost $35 million on its investments based on bitcoin’s current price, authorities remain unperturbed, as they purchased another 500 BTC in May 2022, to up the nation’s total bitcoin treasury to 2,301 BTC.

Zelaya says the country says the recently completed Chivo pet hospital was funded with part of the gains the country made from its crypto holdings last year, adding that El Salvador does not plan to sell more coins anytime soon.

At press time, bitcoin (BTC) is trading around $29,518, with a market cap of $562.53 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Ogwu Osaemezu Emmanuel

Ogwu Osaemezu Emmanuel is a graduate of Mass Communication and Media Studies. He joined the blockchain movement in 2016 when a friend of his introduced him to an investment platform accepting bitcoin. He has never looked back since then. Emmanuel believes the world needs real change and freedom from poverty. He sees crypto and the underlying distributed ledger technology as the catalyst to a better future for all.