El Salvador’s Secrecy Around BTC-Related Info Raises Suspicions, Details Here

The details were cited as confidential information being secured to safeguard national interests.

El Salvador’s Secrecy Around BTC-Related Info Raises Suspicions, Details Here

Photo Credit: Twitter/ PresidenciaSV

It is estimated that El Salvador had a total of 2,301 BTC as of September this year

Highlights
  • Nayib Bukele continues to support BTC
  • Nayib Bukele’s response to hiding El Salvador’s BTC status remains awaite
  • Value of El Salvador’s BTC holdings has nosedived in recent months

El Salvador, the country that last year became first in the world to legalise BTC, is suddenly treading cautiously about revealing details of its BTC holdings. The rather suspicious behaviour from the Salvadoran government came to light when ALAC El Salvador — a non-governmental anti-corruption bureau was recently denied details regarding national BTC purchase and sales from a state development bank. Before this incident, Nayib Bukele, the President of El Salvador has not really shied from disclosing his country's BTC purchases.

The state bank BANDESAL refused to give away the details on El Salvador's BTC purchases citing it as a confidential information being secured to safeguard national interests.

“The confidentiality limits the possibility for citizens to access and receive information on the operations carried out with public funds by BANDESAL,” the statement read.

BANDESAL is a development bank for El Salvador. It has created a trust fund of $150 million (roughly Rs. 1,240 crore) to ensure the convertibility to dollars from BTC.

It is reportedly estimated that El Salvador had purchased a total of 2,301 BTC as of September this year.

Over the past year, the value of these BTC holdings dropped majorly from $103.9 million (roughly Rs. 850 crore) to roughly $45 million (roughly Rs. 372 crore).

BTC created its last all-time-high of $68,000 (roughly Rs. 56 lakh) in November last year. A year later, BTC's current trading value stands at $20,499 (roughly Rs. 16.90 lakh).

El Salvador's secrecy around its BTC possessions could be a way to shield its government from criticism for exposing its public to major financial risks.

Back in May, El Salvador bought its largest ever dip of 500 Bitcoins at an average price of $30,744 (roughly Rs. 24 lakh) per BTC. At the time, the total purchase had costed the country around $15.3 million (roughly Rs. 118 crore).

Despite warnings from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) against using BTC as a legal tender, El Salvador has continued to show support for Bitcoin.

From establishing Bitcoin ATMs to creating a government-backed Bitcoin wallet called Chivo for Salvadorans, Bukele has been bringing initiatives focussed on expanding crypto acceptances and use cases in his country.

It is however noteworthy that under the bear market circumstances, Spain took over El Salvador's spot to become the third-largest crypto ATM hub in the world earlier this year with 215 active machines.

El Salvador reportedly stands at the third spot now with 212 crypto ATMs.


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Radhika Parashar
Radhika Parashar is a senior correspondent for Gadgets 360. She has been reporting on tech and telecom for the last three years now and will be focussing on writing about all things crypto. Besides this, she is a major sitcom nerd and often replies in Chandler Bing and Michael Scott references. For tips or queries you could reach out to her at RadhikaP@ndtv.com. More
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