Nayib Bukele – the President of El Salvador – revealed that the government repaid its $800 million bond plus interest the same day it was set to mature.
Settling the bond comes despite the pessimistic views that the nation will experience financial challenges due to its bitcoin forays.
‘We Just Paid in Full’
El Salvador’s political leader, who is among the biggest proponents of bitcoin, announced the news on Twitter, regretting that most international media outlets did not spread the information. At the same time, they were among the first to doubt whether the country would be able to repay the $800 million bond that matured on January 23.
In the past year, almost every legacy international news outlet said that because of our “#Bitcoin bet”, El Salvador was going to default on its debt by January 2023 (since we had an 800 million dollar bond maturing today).
Literally, hundreds of articles https://t.co/rEiK7K13U4
— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) January 24, 2023
He specifically referred to The New York Times, which claimed in July last year that El Salvador’s decision to purchase bitcoin on a macroeconomic level could harm its monetary network and prevent it from paying its debt. Bukele further stated that the bond was settled without having to ink a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Changpeng Zhao (CZ) – CEO of the world’s leading crypto exchange, Binance – congratulated El Salvador for meeting its financial obligations.
The nation’s Minister of Finance – Alejandro Zelaya – also confirmed the multi-million bond payment:
“Unfortunately, for the disinformation campaign of some national and international media, we announce that on this day, we have completed the payment of the 2023 bond for $800 million, plus interest.”
The presidency’s press office reportedly told Reuters that the government recently paid $604.1 million and interest of $23.4 million, as well as carrying out another two transactions in 2022.
El Salvador: the Land of Bitcoin
El Salvador legalized bitcoin in September 2021, and its authorities have remained supportive even through the prolonged bear market.
El Salvador has also used the challenging macroeconomic situation as an opportunity to purchase more amounts of the digital asset. Latest data shows that it holds 2,381 BTC, but the number could be higher since President Bukele vowed that the government will buy one bitcoin per day in mid-November. However, there is no information on whether the buying spree goes as promised.
The nation currently sits on significant paper losses due to the depreciation of the cryptocurrency market. El Salvador spent over $103 million to accumulate its stash over the years, which is worth nearly two times less as of now.