President Nayib Bukele has lashed out at reports of defaults and announced that El Salvador had paid its $800 million debt in full.
El Salvador has been a proponent of Bitcoin since the start and has made some decisions that the global financial institutions didn’t agree with. The nation made one of the bravest decisions in the history of modern economics by adopting Bitcoin as a legal tender in 2021.
However, it was highly criticized by monetary agencies like the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The institution even tried forcing the nation to drop Bitcoin as a legal tender citing risks to financial stability and consumer protection.
In addition, Fitch Ratings, a credit rating agency that rates the viability of investments relative to the likelihood of default, downgraded the nation’s long-term foreign currency issuer default rating (IDR) to CCC from B in February 2022. Sources suggest that the decision to downgrade the rating was primarily due to the $800 million Eurobond repayment that matured this month.
Nayib Bukele, the president of El Salvador, took to Twitter to call out the media that predicted the nation would default on its loan. He further said that the country has already paid $800 million in debt in full, along with interest. About the media, he said that “They lie and lie and lie, and when their lies are exposed, they go on silence mode.”
According to reports from Bloomberg, El Salvador previously paid a portion of the debt through government buybacks. It was made possible after the nation secured $450 million from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, an international multilateral development financial institution. The next payment is due in 2025, and it still has $6.4 billion of foreign bonds outstanding.
Bukele has continued to average down on Bitcoin throughout the crypto winter despite facing global criticism. In November, the president announced they would buy one Bitcoin per day.
According to Nayib Tracker, a website that tracks El Salvador’s Bitcoin portfolio, the country now holds 2,516 Bitcoins which is about 47.31% of its holdings, which were bought at an average price of $43,350.
However, despite the unrealized loss of over $51 million, the North American nation is leading the way for mainstream crypto adoption. Interestingly, lessons on Bitcoin have also been added to the school curriculum to teach youngsters about it and spread awareness.
In 2022, over 10,000 students were educated on Bitcoin, the Lightning Network, nodes, double-spending, and events such as the Bitcoin halving.