El Salvador’s President Promotes Buying the Dip as Bitcoin Price Tumbles


El Salvador President Nayib Bukele, whose country adopted Bitcoin as a legal tender on September 9, has advised citizens to “buy the dip”. In a series of tweets, he wrote that his government recently bought 150 new Bitcoins, taking its total holding to 700 coins. Bukele gave some “presidential advice” and suggested Bitcoins bought during a price crash were the best bet against inflation. The 40-year-old Bukele, a prolific user of social media, is a vigorous proponent of the largest cryptocurrency and made El Salvador the first in the world to make Bitcoin a legal tender, alongside the US dollar.

After initial hiccups, the rollout of Bitcoin in the central American country has relatively stabilised but still the government’s digital wallet meant to help citizens transact in Bitcoins – Chivo – has encountered frequent problems. Though some people said they were able to pay for goods and services with the cryptocurrency, there have been protests against the radical move by those who don’t trust virtual currencies.

With 700 Bitcoins, El Salvador now holds over $32.5 million (roughly Rs. 239 crores) worth of crypto coins. Bukele’s tweets have come at a time Bitcoin’s price has dropped significantly after El Salvador adopted it. Just before the adoption, on September 7, Bitcoin had breached the $50,000 (roughly Rs. 36.83 lakhs) mark. On Tuesday, Bitcoin price in India was around 34.68 lakhs ($47,000).

His second tweet appeared to put Bitcoin, now trading at a discount, as a safe bet against inflation.

Bukele appeared to be mocking his critics who have accused him of concentration of power. He said his suggestions were “presidential advice”.

Earlier this month, President Bukele said more than half a million people were using Bitcoin wallet in El Salvador, a country of 6.6 million people. He added that Chivo’s technical errors had mostly been addressed and the wallet will be fully functional in days.

The government says the Bitcoin rollout will give many people in El Salvador access to banking services for the first time.

Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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