As reports of a new Covid-19 strain spread, tanking the price of many cryptocurrencies, El Salvador bought the dip. The country has added 100 more bitcoins to its treasury despite a recent warning by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), bringing the total number of bitcoins purchased to 1,220.
El Salvador Buys the Dip: 1,220 Bitcoins Purchased to Date
El Salvador has taken advantage of the Friday sell-off and purchased 100 more bitcoins as reports of a new coronavirus variant spread. The Salvadoran president, Nayib Bukele, tweeted on Black Friday that his country has bought the dip. “100 extra coins acquired with a discount,” he wrote.
An advisory panel of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday classified the new Covid-19 variant, first detected in South Africa, as a highly transmissible virus, naming it “Omicron.”
The crypto market shed billions of dollars on Friday amid reports of the new coronavirus strain. The price of bitcoin fell from $59,165 Thursday afternoon to $53,798 Friday afternoon. BTC is trading at $54,830.98 per coin at the time of writing based on data from Bitcoin.com Markets.
El Salvador made bitcoin legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar on Sept. 7. At the time, the price of BTC was approximately $46,000.
Since bitcoin became legal tender, El Salvador has purchased 1,220 BTC altogether, according to announcements by Bukele.
The day before the country’s bitcoin law went into effect, El Salvador purchased two sets of 200 bitcoins. It bought 150 BTC more on Sept. 7 and 150 more coins on Sept. 20. Bukele said at the time, “El Salvador now holds 700 coins.”
Since then, El Salvador bought 420 more coins on Oct. 27, bringing the total purchase to 1,120 coins. Friday’s purchase pushes the country’s bitcoin stash to 1,220 coins. At the current price, 1,220 bitcoins are worth approximately $66.9 million.
President Bukele announced last week a plan to build the world’s first “bitcoin city” powered by a volcano and financed by bitcoin bonds. He noted there would not be any taxes in the bitcoin city except for value-added tax (VAT).
However, a day after the announcement, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned the country against using BTC as legal tender. The IMF cited “significant risks to consumer protection, financial integrity, and financial stability” as the reasons, adding that it “also gives rise to fiscal contingent liabilities.”
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