El Salvador’s Bitcoin Stockpile Is Way Bigger Than Previously Believed

Amid Staunch Criticism, President Bukele Reveals El Salvador's Bitcoin Wallet Will Be Working 100% In Coming Days

In a surprising development, El Salvador’s millennial crypto-loving president Nayib Bukele announced yesterday that his administration moved a substantial portion of its Bitcoin holdings into a cold wallet and intended to lock it away in a physical vault.

Bukele revealed that the Central American nation holds over 5,000 BTC, almost double the previously known stockpile.

El Salvador Safeguards BTC In Physical Vault

Nayib Bukele said in a post on the X platform on Thursday that El Salvador this week shifted a “big chunk” of its Bitcoin treasury into a cold wallet. Bukele described the new arrangement as “our first Bitcoin piggy bank.” El Salvador stored the cold wallet “in a physical vault within our national territory.”

According to the screenshot he shared, the country’s wallet had 5,689 Bitcoin in it — worth around $409 million at Thursday’s prices. 

We’ve decided to transfer a big chunk of our #Bitcoin to a cold wallet, and store that cold wallet in a physical vault within our national territory.

You can call it our first #Bitcoin piggy bank 🇸🇻

It’s not much, but it’s honest work 😂

— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) March 14, 2024

It was previously estimated that El Salvador held 2,861 BTC, worth roughly $207 million, when ZyCrypto last reported about the nation’s holdings on March 12. At the time, Bukele hinted that the country was not only purchasing BTC but also acquiring it by selling passports, using currency conversions for local businesses, using BTC mining, and using government services.

While Bukele did not reveal the exact size of El Salvador’s holdings, the revelation marks the first time he has tied his country’s Bitcoin stockpile to a specific wallet address.

The BTC now in El Salvador’s cold wallet — roughly 5,689.7 BTC — was sent from digital asset exchange Bitfinex in several transactions, as per Arkham Intelligence.

El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as a treasury asset back in September 2021, when the maiden crypto was changing hands for approximately $52K.

Bukele won re-election by a huge margin in February, clinching another 5-year term. But that’s not to say the road has not been bumpy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been in a protracted dispute with the tiny Latin American nation after it advised that the Bitcoin Law be scrapped. Moreover, U.S. senators have made it clear severally that they believe Bitcoin adoption in El Salvador poses “potential risks to the U.S. financial system.”

El Salvador’s new address has also received donations from the crypto community. Data indicates that the wallet also holds over 65 Ordinals donations, including BRC-20 tokens, text inscriptions, images, a 3D “runestone” and also a copy of the “Cypherpunk Manifesto”. Authored by Eric Hughes in March 1993, this document advocates for the preservation of privacy through encryption.

On Thursday the Bitcoin price was hovering above $72,000, but in the last 24 hours, the crypto has yo-yoed between $73,700 and as low as $65,848.

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