El Salvador’s highly anticipated Bitcoin Bond is slated to go live somewhere between March 15 and 20. But according to the nation’s finance minister Alejandro Zelaya, the timeline for the scheduled launch might get affected due to the ongoing situation in Ukraine. In an interview with a local TV channel, Zelaya expressed apprehension stating,
“We believe that between March 15 and 20 is the right timing, we have the tools almost finished. But the international context will tell us. I didn’t expect the war in Ukraine. We’re still finishing some details, almost everything is ready, the thing is there is also a timing issue.”
President Nayib Bukele is aiming to issue his country’s first-ever $1 billion bitcoin-backed bonds this month and use the proceeds to purchase more cryptocurrencies and build “Bitcoin City” – a planned metropolis that would utilize geothermal energy from a nearby volcano to “mine” the digital coins.
El Salvador’s Big Bitcoin Gamble
Former president of El Salvador’s central bank, Carlos Acevedo reportedly warned that a “lot of doors will close” if this is a failure, adding that the bond’s issuance is going to “define a lot.” According to sources, large-cap investors are keeping close tabs on the bond but those traders are few in comparison to retail investors which are expected to dominate the lot.
One such investor, Josué País, the owner of a taxi business that accepts payments in BTC, said that he plans to invest $200 into the bond when it launches this week.
In another instance of the crypto-loving President’s betting high, Bukele in February tweeted that he’s sending 52 legal reforms to El Salvador’s congress, including offering “citizenship in exchange for investments,” saying his plan will “create a haven for freedom.”
That said, if words turn into a reality, El Salvador would be one of the first countries to offer citizenship to foreign investors, joining the likes of Turkey, Malta, and several other Caribbean nations, according to U.K.-based citizenship consultancy Henley & Partners.
However, this isn’t his first time offering citizenship to foreign investors, as he said last year El Salvador plans to offer fast-tracked citizenship to investors that invest in the country’s proposed bitcoin fund.