The value of Bitcoin has plummeted but El Salvador President Nayib Bukele said his country’s worried investors should still “enjoy life.” “Patience,” he instructed, “is the key.”
The words of reassurance came in a tweet late Saturday, shortly after the cryptocurrency had sunk for a time to below $18,000—it dipped to 16,800 euros. Less than a year ago, El Salvador spent $105 million on Bitcoin, according to Australia’s 9 News. The government paid an average of nearly $46,000 a coin, or 44,000 euros.
Last September, the Central American nation became the first to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, and Bukele was a key driver in the move.
With economic markets shaken and stirred in recent months, however, Bitcoin has plummeted. The currency has fallen 70 percent since November and dropped below $20,000 last week, seesawing for several days.
By early Monday, Bitcoin had climbed back over $20,600 a coin—or 19,800 euros.
Bukele’s full tweet read: “I see that some people are worried or anxious about the #Bitcoin market price. My advice: stop looking at the graph and enjoy life. If you invested in #BTC your investment is safe and its value will immensely grow after the bear market. Patience is the key.”
I see that some people are worried or anxious about the #Bitcoin market price.
My advice: stop looking at the graph and enjoy life. If you invested in #BTC your investment is safe and its value will immensely grow after the bear market.
Patience is the key.
— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) June 19, 2022
It has been a rocky ride for Bitcoin in recent weeks, though, as the value of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency reached a 22-month low in early May. Around the same time, Bukele also spoke of “buying the dip,” but seems to have moved away from that notion as Bitcoin continued its slide, according to the 9 News report.
El Salvador Holds Bitcoin Investment
The country’s finance minister told a local news station last week it hasn’t unloaded any of its investment in Bitcoin. He said the currency poses no budgetary risk because it represents less than 1 percent of the total budget.
Governments, like companies, do write down losses even if the distressed asset isn’t sold, the report noted.
El Salvador—where an estimated 4 in 10 residents live in poverty—previously batted away a call by the International Monetary Fund to scrap Bitcoin as legal tender. Last month, however, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said cryptocurrencies are “based on nothing” and should be regulated to steer people away from speculating on them with their life savings.
Bukele, however, has claimed the cryptocurrency will lift up his population, pulling millions of people into the financial system who had previously lacked bank accounts.
Last fall, he announced the country would use volcanic energy to mine Bitcoin. That news came again via Bukele’s twitter account, where he posted a video of a geothermal mining facility embedded at the base of one of El Salvador’s mountains.