Latin American nation of El Salvador became the first country last year to make Bitcoin a legal tender in September 2021. Since then, El Salvador has been buying Bitcoin as part of its treasury.
However, with the BTC price collapsing nearly 70% over the last year, El Salvador’s Bitcoin holdings are currently sitting on major losses. In the latest development, the El Salvador Development Bank has refused to provide any information on the government’s Bitcoin buys. The El Salvador Development Bank manages the country’s Bitcoin funds.
As per the recent report, the bank said that it cannot share information on how the Latin American country has been using its Bitcoin money. El Salvador’s Anti-Corruption Legal Advisory Center (ALAC) reached out to the Development last week. ALAC offers legal aid to citizens in speaking out against corruption. However, BANDESAL said that they cannot reveal the “confidential” information.
This public watchdog group ALAC has criticized the lack of transparency around Bitcoin accounting. In a tweet last Saturday, it noted:
“The confidentiality limits the possibility for citizens to access and receive information on the operations carried out with public funds by Bandesal”.
The same report notes that during the crypto winter of 2022, El Salvador lost more than $60 million on its Bitcoin holdings. This has significantly increased the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio. As a result, this has increased the chances of El Salvador slipping into debt default. Speaking of the country’s economic conditions to CNBC, a 37-year-old El Salvadorian resident said:
“I don’t think anything has changed, except that the country is more recognized than before, but the economic life of Salvadorans remains the same or worse than a few years ago”.
El Salvador’s Bitcoin Developments
Along with making Bitcoin a legal tender, the El Salvadorian government launched a state-sponsored crypto wallet giving its users $30 worth of the coin to spend. Furthermore, the country has installed Bitcoin ATMs at several different locations.
El Salvador Nayib Bukele has been pushing Bitcoin adoption over the last year and is a very big proponent of the cryptocurrency. As per data from the Nayib tracker, the El Salvador president has spent a total of $107 million on BTC to date. After the crypto market correction this year, it has now reduced down to $58 million.