After MicroStrategy‘s return this week, El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has also broken his recent silence on all things bitcoin (BTC)-related. He announced that the country has bought the latest “dip” – splashing out on BTC 80 virtual coins at a price of USD 19,000 per bitcoin.
The purchase – which ElSalvador.com pointed out was made using public funds – cost the nation some USD 1.5m.
The President took to Twitter – the only channel he or any members of his government have ever used to announce their BTC purchases – to break the news. He also posted screenshots of multiple transactions made when BTC dropped to USD 19,000.
The coin is currently trading back under the USD 20,000 mark after briefly recovering to almost USD 20,500 in the early hours (UTC) of Friday morning. At 7: 25 UTC, it’s changing hands at USD 19,471, unchanged in a day and down 8% in 7 days.
Also on Twitter, the economist and crypto markets analyst Alex Krüger opined that Bukele’s actions were “movie material.” He observed that the President was “averaging down,” and was “now 57% underwater” on his total purchases.
Although no information has been made public on the matter, it appears that Bukele has authorized the purchase of some BTC 2,381 to date, spending almost USD 105 million in the process.
In the replies to Krüger’s post, one Twitter user wrote that what the analyst had claimed would only be the case if the “movie” in question were to be released “this week.”
Many echoed Krüger’s words, with one stating that the situation was “sad for Salvadorans,” whose money was being used to “provide exit liquidity.”
Another quipped that Bukele’s buys were “sell signals” for the rest of the market.
Others disagreed with Krüger, however, with one stating that Bukele was “investing” and that “in the long term, he will be laughing.”
One bitcoiner wrote:
“Those who started buying at almost [USD] 1,000 in 2014 and then averaged until they reached 200 were also underwater for a while. Today they see the result [of] not listening to people like you.”
The aforementioned ElSalvador.com, which is generally hostile to Bukele’s government, bemoaned: “Despite the fact that in the first six months of the year, [bitcoin] has lost almost 60% of its value, the President continues to bet on buying more tokens.”
Other media outlets opposed to Bukele voiced similar concerns, with La Prensa Gráfica quoting “experts” as stating that “investors are nervous about the possibility of an international economic recession and are looking to get rid of highly speculative assets such as bitcoin.”
El Faro, meanwhile, accused Bukele of “fiddling” while the “crypto market burns” – and pointed out the fact that the President has made very few references to BTC in recent speeches, including his most recent state-of-the-nation address.
It also quoted the economist Steve Hanke, speaking last year, as stating:
“You’d have to be insane to introduce bitcoin into an environment that’s already as corrupt [as El Salvador].”
Usually vocal on all things BTC-related on Twitter, the President’s only other bitcoin-themed tweet since the markets began to slump in early May was a call last month for citizens and investors to remain calm and remember that their funds were “safe.”