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Bitcoin Is Costing El Salvador But President Bukele Isn't Stressed

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele keeps on buying Bitcoin despite mounting losses.

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele keeps on buying Bitcoin despite mounting losses.

Photographer: Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images

Welcome to Bloomberg Crypto, our twice-weekly look at Bitcoin, blockchain and more. If someone forwarded this to you, sign up here. In today’s edition, Michael McDonald checks in on El Salvador’s Bitcoin experiment: 

If there’s one world leader hoping for a Bitcoin price surge, it’s El Salvador President Nayib Bukele. His government is currently down about 35%, nearly $40 million, on the 2,301 Bitcoin he has bought with public funds since making it legal tender last year. The nation’s finance minister said Bitcoin’s price dip has even scared away potential buyers of a planned $1 billion Bitcoin-backed bond. Worse yet, the gambit seems to have cost his administration a much-needed program with the International Monetary Fund, which urged him to drop his crypto push. The ratings agencies aren’t impressed either and have downgraded the nation deep into junk territory. Its dollar bonds are trading at record lows.