El Salvador Faces Challenges with Bitcoin Investment Strategy

El Salvador’s ambitious foray into Bitcoin has faced significant challenges over the past two years, with the country grappling with substantial losses on its cryptocurrency holdings. President Nayib Bukele’s decision to invest nearly $100 million of public funds in Bitcoin has faced challenges, with most of the coins experiencing no increase in value since November 2022.  In November 2022, the President also unveiled a country-level Dollar-Cost Averaging (DCA) plan, committing to daily purchasing one Bitcoin.

Public statements from Bukele indicated that, at the plan’s initiation, El Salvador already accumulated 2,381 Bitcoins at an average price of approximately $44,300. However, the market price then was just $19,000, resulting in an approximate $60 million loss on the existing holdings.

Assuming the country adhered to its commitment of purchasing one Bitcoin daily throughout the year, CoinDesk estimates that El Salvador’s total holdings would now amount to 2,744 Bitcoins as of November 14. The median price of Bitcoin over this period suggests the country’s average purchase price has decreased to around $41,800.

With the current Bitcoin price at $36,000, El Salvador is in a challenging position, facing a loss of about $16 million on its Bitcoin holdings. This financial setback raises questions about the effectiveness of the DCA plan and the overall strategy behind the country’s significant investment in cryptocurrency.

While some individuals have found value in using Bitcoin for specific transactions, concerns about who benefits from El Salvador’s Bitcoin strategy are growing. Critics argue that the government’s focus on wealthy investors, volcano bonds, and plans for a Bitcoin city may not align with the original narrative of helping the unbanked and economically disadvantaged.

The government’s push for widespread adoption faces skepticism, as most of El Salvador’s population lacks access to banks and cryptocurrency. Despite efforts to promote Chivo, surveys suggest that many citizens used the crypto wallet primarily to benefit from the initial bonus offered by the government.

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