El Salvador Bitcoins: A Nation’s Journey into Digital Currency

By Eddie Galdamez  | Updated on Nov 10th, 2023
El Salvador Bitcoins
Bitcoin is a legal tender in El Salvador.

El Salvador Bitcoins mark a historic chapter in the world of finance, as El Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender in September 2021.

This unprecedented decision by President Nayib Bukele has sparked intense discussions globally, reshaping perceptions of cryptocurrency and its potential implications on the future of traditional financial systems.

El Salvador faces challenges with Bitcoin’s low usage. Factors such as public skepticism and technology have contributed to a slower-than-expected integration of Bitcoin into everyday transactions within the country.

How Much Bitcoin does El Salvador Have?

El Salvador has 2,381 Bitcoins, and El Salvador’s Bitcoin average price is $43,357 per crypto unit. The country has invested approximately $103,233,360.00 million in its crypto coins purchases.

The last Bitcoin Purchase was on June 30, 2022; “El Salvador bought today 80 Bitcoin at $19,000 each! Bitcoin is the future! Thank you for selling cheap.” Wrote President Bukele on his Twitter account.

El Salvador Bitcoins
Bitcoins Cost per Bitcoin Total Invested
June 30, 2022 80 $19,000 $1,520,000.00
May 9, 2022 500 $30,744 $15,372,000
Jan 21, 2022 410 $36,585 $15,000,000
Dec 21, 2021 21 $49,220 $1,033,620
Dec 3, 2021 150 $48,670 $7,300,500
Nov 26, 2021 100 $54,815 $5,481,500
Oct 27, 2021 420 $60,622 $25,461,240
Sept 19, 2021 150 $42,843 $6,426,450
Sept 7, 2021 150 $46,091 $6,913,650
Sept 6, 2021 400 $46,811 $18,724,400
Totals 2381 $43,357 $103,233,360

The price per Bitcoin unit listed in the above table is estimated based on the cost per unit on the day purchased. As of today, the El Salvador Government has not made public the details of each purchase transaction.

The country’s investment in the crypto coins is down as of November 2023, assuming that the Salvadoran Government has not sold any of its Bitcoin holdings.

El Salvador Bitcoins: A legal Tender

El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender in 2021 marked a significant shift in the financial landscape for El Salvador and other countries.

Despite generating both praise and controversy, this move by the Bukele administration exemplifies the nation’s commitment to exploring unconventional avenues for economic growth and financial inclusion.

Crypto Currency Effects

Even though making Bitcoin a legal tender has caused problems between the Salvadoran Government and international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, Bitcoin has produced some beneficial results thus far.

The Salvadoran tourism industry has benefited immensely from the Bitcoin implementation. According to the head of the Ministry of Tourism (MITUR), Morena Valdez, “More tourists and investors have come to see how the cryptocurrency works in El Salvador.”

Also, in February 2022, the Chivo Pets Veterinary Hospital opened in El Salvador. This animal care facility is the first government-owned pet hospital in the country.

El Salvador Bitcoins Issues

El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption has encountered challenges, including public resistance, technological barriers, and transparency. These issues have delayed the integration of Bitcoin into the country’s economic framework.

Bitcoin has received public resistance since becoming a legal tender. The number of Salvadorans who have used it is minimal. Also, family remittances, which was used as an argument by President Nayib Bukele to justify the adoption of Bitcoin in June 2021, are low.

According to the Salvadoran Central Bank (BCR), less than 2% of remittances entered the country through digital cryptocurrency wallets. One of the principal technological issues is the Chivo Wallet.

The Chivo Crypto Wallet was created by the Salvadoran Government to help Salvadorans facing financial exclusion and aid the transfer of money from Salvadorans abroad to individuals living in El Salvador.

One issue Salvadorans using Chivo Wallet face is transferring money to local banks, which is vital for individuals using Bitcoins.

Finally, there is the issue of transparency. The Salvadoran Government has placed under reserve all information regarding Bitcoin.

There is no information on who purchases Bitcoins, who decides when to purchase, and any fees regarding the transaction. Also, there is the issue of information regarding the Chivo Wallet, such as the cost.

Currency Future in El Salvador

Although converting Bitcoin into legal tender was met with strong criticism from the International Monetary Fund and other international entities, El Salvador’s economy has continued to grow.

The Salvadoran GDP grew by more than 10% in 2021. It is the first time in the country’s history that double-digit GDP growth has been recorded.

Furthermore, in 2022, the Salvadoran economy grew by 2.6%. The country’s GDP is expected to reach 2.6% by the end of 2023.

Despite economists and the IMF asking El Salvador to reverse its position on cryptocurrency, President Bukele and his administration has made it clear that Bitcoin will continue to be a legal tender in El Salvador.