El Salvador adds nearly $25 million in bitcoin to state coffers, says president

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FILE PHOTO: El Salvador adopts Bitcoin as legal tender

SAN SALVADOR – The Salvadoran government acquired 420 more bitcoin on Wednesday, President Nayib Bukele announced on social media, as the Central American doubled down on its splashy cryptocurrency experiment.

The latest purchase of bitcoin, worth nearly $25 million at current prices, marks the first government acquisition of the cryptocurrency since Sept. 20, when Bukele said it had bought 150 bitcoins.

“It was a long wait, but worth it. We just bought the dip! 420 new bitcoin,” Bukele wrote in a post on Twitter in English.

The cryptocurrency currently trades at just above $59,000 per bitcoin.

Earlier last month, El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar, which Bukele has argued will lower the cost of remittances from Salvadoran migrants living overseas.

Traditional banks and other financial institutions typically charge hefty fees to process the money transfers.

Overall, El Salvador’s treasury holds 1,120 bitcoin, according to official data, worth nearly $66 million.

The impoverished country’s economy is heavily dependent on around $6 billion in remittances sent home each year, or about a quarter of gross domestic product, with around one fifth of households dependent on the cash infusions.

(Reporting by Gerardo Arbaiza; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)