El Salvador Adds to Bitcoin Stash, Now Holds Nearly $400 Million in ‘Digital Gold’

El Salvador’s Bitcoin-loving leader Nayib Bukele has added to the country’s crypto holdings, which have swelled to almost $400 million in virtual currency.

In a Monday Twitter post, the popular President showed off an address holding over 5,695 BTC. At today’s prices, that would mean the country holds over $391 million in digital coins. 

President Bukele’s administration was previously opaque about its Bitcoin buys. The leader would post on Twitter when he would buy the asset—even boasting that he’d snap it up naked or “in the toilet”—but exact figures could not be obtained from the government’s press office or website. 

He then said on the platform in 2022 that the country would buy 1 BTC every day. 

Earlier this month, he announced that the country had moved a “big chunk” of its holdings to cold storage, and revealed a crypto wallet address in the process.

President Bukele’s idea to put Bitcoin in the government’s coffers came after he announced that the asset would be made legal tender back in 2021—alongside the U.S. dollar. 

The policy was criticized by the IMF and U.S. politicians but the eccentric leader carried on with the plan.  

Despite El Salvador’s Bitcoin law, which asks businesses to accept BTC if they have the means to do so, Decrypt found during a 2021 visit that Salvadorans weren’t using the asset much at all to buy things. 

Subsequent studies and polls confirmed that citizens in the tiny country weren’t crypto crazy, either. 

But Bukele is still wildly popular with Salvadorans after having cleaned up the country’s once sky-high crime rate. 

Human rights activists have argued that it has come at a cost, though, and that Salvadoran authorities have allegedly hurt innocent people in a massive gang crackdown that has imprisoned 1% of the population. 

Bukele nonetheless won reelection in February by a huge landslide. 

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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