Former member of parliament of Tonga, Lord Fusitu’a, revealed that the country’s legal tender bill for Bitcoin is “modeled on” and is “almost identical” to that of El Salvador.
Bitcoin and Tonga
According to the latest tweets, Lord Fusitu’a hinted at the tentative arrival of Bitcoin as a legal tender for the Pacific island nation of Tonga. The former MP said the country could potentially adopt the cryptocurrency by November this year. The bill in question will be submitted to the House by September- October.
1. Sept/Oct Bill goes to Parliament. Passed.
2. Sent to Palace Office for submission to His Majesty for Royal Assent.
3.<A month – HM as advised by Privy Council assents to Bill.
4. 2-3 Weeks Gazetted by Govt activation date set.
4. On activation date #BTC becomes legal tender. https://t.co/TNjQjeEbjN
— Lord Fusitu’a (@LordFusitua) January 12, 2022
Lord Fusitu’a, a Tongan royalty, was reportedly working together with Jack Mallers, the CEO of Strike and architect of El Salvador’s Bitcoin project, to bring the BTC legal framework to Tonga.
He has been very vocal about the industry and has, time and again, asserted that the country can become more “competitive and wealthy” if it embraces the cryptocurrency. His focus has been on the remittance advantages that Bitcoin offers, which can potentially benefit the citizens regarding long-term saving.
While replying to a follow-up question on how a circular economy involving Bitcoin will be helpful, the former MP stated,
“An economy that uses bitcoin for payment at every stage of the supply chain. From the seed to the table. Pay for cassava roots and cattle in bitcoin from the farming supplier all the way to the waitress serving it to you at Kardo’s steak bar and every step in between in BTC.”
Many economists and world leaders have expressed their concern over countries following El Salvador’s suit. For countries such as Tonga, there are inflationary pressures at play to consider such a move as well.
El Salvador’s Bitcoin Portfolio
The young, maverick El Salvadorean President, Nayib Bukele made history last year after pushing Bitcoin as legal tender. However, his actions have failed to charm some experts who believe he may have cost the country $10 million amid the crypto market rout.
CryptoPotato recently reported that Bitcoin plummeted below $41,000 for the first time since September 2021. Interestingly, this was the same month when El Salvador went on an aggressive buying spree of the asset. Over the past year, El Salvador spent around $71 million at an average purchase price of $51,056 per BTC. Supposing the government has not sold its crypto holdings, the portfolio is down by 12% approximately.
The Central American nation of El Salvador entered into the pages of history as the first country to officially adopt bitcoin as a legal tender on June 9, 2021.
Subsequently, the country went on a bitcoin buying spree, taking advantage of every opportunity to acquire more of the popular “digital gold” since it considers it a hedge against the consequences of inflation.
A Breakdown of El Salvador’s Bitcoin Purchases
El Salvador has made a total of eight BTC purchases to date, and about half of them were made in September alone.
The country made its first purchase of 200 BTC worth $9.34 million on Sept. 6, 2021, just a day before its Bitcoin Law took effect. It was followed immediately by another one of 200 BTC worth $9.36 million on the same day.
The third one took place on Sept. 7, 2021, which saw El Salvador add 150 BTC worth $6.94 million to its portfolio. On Sept. 19, the country added another 150 BTC worth $6.46 million.
In October, El Salvador made its biggest and most expensive purchase when it bought 420 BTC worth $24.69 million. On Black Friday, the country made another worth $5.42 million (100 BTC).
On Dec. 3, president Bukele updated about another accumulation of 150 BTC worth $7.3 million. The final 2021 purchase came on Dec. 21, adding 21 BTC.
Current Value of El Salvador’s Bitcoin
With the current state of the crypto market, here’s how much El Salvador’s bitcoin stash is worth.
The country spent a whopping $70,561,800 on its Bitcoin investments, with its total holdings currently sitting at 1,391 BTC.
As outlined by popular cryptocurrency commentator Cobie, El Salvador’s entire BTC stash is now worth just over $60 million. This means that the nation is currently down on its bitcoin initiative by more than $10 million.
The El Salvador buys are not actually that bad actually
I mean every single buy is under water, but they’re only down ~$11m in total (70.5m invested and just below 60m portfolio now)
Do wonder if they keep bidding or ever sell any of this stuff pic.twitter.com/P6Ib23Ch0U
— Cobie (@cobie) January 7, 2022
Nonetheless, El Salvador is still bullish about the cryptocurrency and has started several projects following its Bitcoin adoption. These include building a pet hospital, constructing 20 new schools, mining bitcoin with a volcano, and building a Bitcoin city, all of which are powered by BTC.
Earlier in June, the country’s president, Nayib Bukele, pointed out that the adoption decision was a “forward-thinking” one.
Now the big question is, will El Salvador maintain diamond hands, or will it be selling some of its BTC holdings? Only time will tell.
In a bid to bring in regulatory clarity and a framework for the issuance of Bitcoin Bond and securities in the cryptocurrency, El Salvador’s finance minister, Alejandro Zelaya, has revealed plans to send approximately 20 bills to Congress.
The Ambitious Bitcoin City
According to reports, the aforestated bills will encompass regulations about securities issuance and ensure legal structure and certainty to anyone to wishes to purchase a Bitcoin bond. The Finance Minister, however, did not divulge any details as to when the legislation will be submitted to the lawmakers.
The news comes on the heels of the Central American country’s announcement in November to issue what is also known as Volcano Bonds. Commenting on the development, El Salvadore President Nayib Bukele said the move also aims to fully re-engineer the economy and the way a nation-state does business.
Bukele on People Searching for Freedom
According to Zelaya, the investor interest in Bitcoin bonds is significant, especially because it provides exposure to the world’s largest cryptocurrency and a 10-year maturity of 6.5% interest.
The ambitious Bitcoin bond product is slated to release this year. Its worth stands at a staggering $1 billion and is intended to fund Bukele’s plan of creating the world’s first “Bitcoin City.” The development of the first-of-its-kind city will see some of the most notable players in the sector, including prominent cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and Adam Back’s Blockstream.
Bitfinex CTO Paolo Ardoino earlier revealed that the exchange plans to back El Salvador’s initiative by rolling out a securities platform to hold the Bitcoin bonds.
As envisioned by the president himself, the Bitcoin City will be a fully functional city with proper residential areas, retail centers, restaurants, a port, and “everything around Bitcoin.” The future residents will be levied only value-added tax (VAT), which will be used to pay the municipality’s bonds, public infrastructure, and other maintenance.
The country’s eastern region of La Union has been selected for the initiative. El Salvador’s abundant geothermal power from the Conchagua volcano will be used to power Bitcoin mining operations. Many experts believe geothermal energy that gets generally gets wasted, if deployed to Bitcoin mining, could transform El Salvador as one of the lucrative venues for Bitcoin miners.
Nayib Bukele, who made history last year by becoming the first President to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, believes two more countries will follow this example in 2022. Additionally, he predicted a price tag of $100,000 for the primary cryptocurrency.
- It’s safe to say that El Salvador is the most open country in terms of BTC adoption as it voted for the asset to become legal tender in 2021.
- Following this historic move, the nation and its pro-bitcoin President have continued to outline BTC’s merits, accumulate more during price dips, and use the proceeds to build schools and hospitals.
- Despite the enhanced criticism from traditional financial organizations such as the Bank of England and the IMF, Bukele has not backed down. Just the opposite, he and numerous proponents of the cryptocurrency outlined intentions to build a Bitcoin City in El Salvador.
- One of the predictions that he listed today for Bitcoin in 2022 includes that the city’s construction will commence this year.
- He also believes that two more nations will follow El Salvador’s path and adopt BTC as legal tender.
- Bukele outlined a possible massive surprise at the annual Bitcoin Conference. Interestingly, the 2021 edition brought such a surprise as El Salvador announced its plans to adopt BTC during that event.
- Bukele sees bitcoin becoming a “major electoral issue in US elections this year” as the world’s most powerful economy continues to dabble with how to approach BTC and the entire crypto industry.
- In terms of price action, El Salvador’s leader said bitcoin will finally go into a six-digit territory by touching $100,000.
2022 predictions on #Bitcoin:
•Will reach $100k
•2 more countries will adopt it as legal tender
•Will become a major electoral issue in US elections this year
•Bitcoin City will commence construction
•Volcano bonds will be oversubscribed
•Huge surprise at @TheBitcoinConf
— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) January 2, 2022
On December 4, bitcoin suffered its worst trading day since mid-May, as its price plunged to a two-month low of $42,000. Somewhat expectedly, this massive $16,000 crash in less than 24 hours led to a change in investors’ sentiment as the popular Bitcoin Fear & Greed Index went into “extreme fear” territory once again.
Extreme Fear Shakes The Crypto Community
The Bitcoin Fear & Greed Index works as an indicator of momentary investor sentiments towards the primary cryptocurrency. It tracks several segments such as the volatility of the asset, volume, social media comments, surveys, and others to provide a result between 0 (Extreme Fear) and 100 (Extreme Greed).
Following the recent bloodbath in the cryptocurrency industry, and more specifically, bitcoin’s price dump to around $42,000, the metric now points at 16 – “Extreme Fear.” It is worth noting that the last time the index showed a number lower than 16 was July 21. Back then, BTC’s USD value dived under $30,000.
After rallying to an all-time high price of almost $70,000 in the middle of November, the leading digital asset kept hovering above $60,000 for the next couple of weeks. However, the picture drastically changed at the end of the month when it dropped under $55,000. One of the reasons behind the decline might have been the new COVID-19 variant – Omicron – which was detected in South Africa and harmed all financial markets.
In the following days, BTC bulls tried to push the price towards $60,000 but without much success. Somewhat expectedly, Bitcoin Fear & Greed Index went to “Fear” and “Extreme Fear,” indicating the concerns among cryptocurrency investors.
At the beginning of December, when the asset was preparing for another attempt to push towards that particular line, the bears came to play big time and led to the aforementioned tumble of $42,000.
According to the analytics company CryptoQuant, on-chain developments ahead of the crash could have foreseen what happened. The number of bitcoins sitting on exchanges, which spiked sharply hours before the drop, was one of the signals.
Whales to Sell More?
CryptoQuant’s Exchange Whale Ratio, which compares the top 10 largest deposits to exchanges with all other deposits, large BTC holders have been increasingly depositing more substantial quantities of the asset to trading platforms lately.
The metric typically stands above 85 only in bear markets. However, it has surged above 95 in the past few days after a sudden uptick ahead of the crash. Consequently, the analytics company warned that BTC’s price could face another downfall soon if whales decide to sell large quantities.
— Ki Young Ju 주기영 (@ki_young_ju) December 6, 2021
Is It ‘Buy The Dip’ Time?
While “Extreme Fear” might not sound like a ringing bell for individuals to enter the crypto market, many experts actually believe that bitcoin being in that state is a good buying opportunity. It is worth mentioning that the billionaire investor – Warren Buffett – once said investors should be greedy when the crowd is fearful and vice versa.
By the looks of it, the authorities of El Salvador (the Latin American country where bitcoin is legal tender) are in favor of the price decline and support Buffett’s thesis. A few days ago, President Nayib Bukele announced that the nation purchased 150 more coins at an average price of just over $48,500.
El Salvador’s pro-bitcoin president updated earlier today that the country has reacted to the recent price crash by purchasing 150 more coins at an average price of just over $48,500.
- It’s safe to say that El Salvador is the most bullish country on bitcoin as it legalized the primary cryptocurrency earlier this year.
- Since then, the president – Nayib Bukele – and his administration have used every opportunity to take further advantage of the opportunities in the market, such as planning to utilize the BTC profits to build schools and a pet hospital.
- Most recently, Bukele announced intentions to build a designated Bitcoin City and buy $500 million more worth of the asset through a special bond.
- Earlier today, Bukele updated that the country has indeed started to accumulate more coins. This purchase of 150 coins came amid BTC’s price crash as the asset dropped below $50,000 for the first time in two months.
- With an average price of $48,670, this means that El Salvador spent $7.3 million to purchase the 150 bitcoins.
El Salvador just bought the dip! 🇸🇻
150 coins at an average USD price of ~$48,670 🥳#Bitcoin🎄
— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) December 4, 2021
- It’s worth noting that bitcoin’s correction continued in the hours after president Bukele announced the latest purchase.
- The cryptocurrency fell to its lowest price since late September of $42,000. Almost altcoins followed suit with massive double-digit price drops as over $600 billion were evaporated from the market cap at one point.
- As of now, BTC has reclaimed some ground and stands close to $48,000, but it’s still 15% down on the day.
Featured Image Courtesy of ForeignPolicy
On Dec. 1, the outspoken Nayib Bukele responded to a Bloomberg report detailing Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell’s comments on inflation. Interestingly, El Salvador’s president asked the Fed chief to stop printing so much money out of thin air.
Inflation a Growing Concern
A fresh round of economic anguish has been ignited by last week’s discovery of the new highly-transmissible Covid-19 variant named Omicron by the WHO.
On Nov. 30, Bloomberg reported on the Fed chair’s comments before the Senate Banking Committee this week. Both Democrats and Republicans expressed concerns about high prices and inflation, it added. The central bank chair retired the word “transitory” to describe high inflation that remains a persistent issue in the U.S.
He added that the Fed should start to wrap up its bond purchasing scheme earlier than the scheduled mid-2022 target.
The word used was “tapering,” which refers to a gradual slowing down of purchases of securities and bonds. The central bank has been effectively printing money to buy bonds with the aim of pushing down interest rates which are currently at 0.25%.
Lower interest rates mean more borrowing, which stimulates the economy and spending. However, money printing increases inflation and gradually erodes the value of the currency over time, hence Bukele’s comments today.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Economic Research (FRED), the five-year breakeven inflation rate surged to over 3% in November – its highest level for more than two decades. As a result, the consumer price index for all urban consumers (Core CPI) – which measures the average cost of goods less food and energy – is also at an all-time high.
The figures are a clear indication that the situation is not “transitory” despite what the Fed claims. The latest Omicron strain could exacerbate America’s economic woes even further if it runs rampant and more lockdowns are enforced.
Can you guys just stop printing more money?
You’re just going to make things worse.
Really. It’s a no brainer. https://t.co/reVH1irzOt
— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) November 30, 2021
El Salvador Gains
Naturally, store of value assets that offer a hedge against the greenback and inflation are going strong. As reported by CryptoPotato, Nayib Bukele bought the dip adding 100 BTC to El Salvador’s treasury on Nov. 27.
It has worked out very well for the Latin American nation so far, despite a few protests. A tracking feed that measures the value of the $30 BTC airdrop Bukele gave citizens to spur adoption back in September is reporting a current profit of almost 15% in dollar terms.
Those $30 USD #BTC Stimulus given to El Salvador citizens the 07/09/2021 are now worth:
— ElSalvadorBTC (@ElSalvadorBTC_) December 1, 2021
The Bank of England is not a fan of bitcoin nor its growing adoption in countries like El Salvador. The Governor – Andrew Bailey – has repeatedly expressed his “concerns,” but this time, El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele issued a response.
BOE “Concerned” About El Salvador and Bitcoin
Ever since the small Central American nation outlined plans to adopt bitcoin as legal tender in June 2021, numerous global financial organizations have tried to warn the country not to do it. Apart from the IMF, the Bank of England, spearheaded by BTC critic Andrew Bailey, was the most vocal one.
The institution has used almost every opportunity since then to double down on its belief that El Salvador should use only fiat money. The latest such example came earlier this week, shortly after the country’s leader – President Nayib Bukele – announced plans to build a Bitcoin City.
As reported by Bloomberg, Bailey touched upon the infamous volatility, similarly to most other bashers:
“It concerns me that a country would choose it as its national currency. What would worry me most of all is, do the citizens of El Salvador understand the nature and volatility of the currency they have.”
Although it has been just a few months since El Salvador legalized BTC, the experiment seems to be working just fine for the country, at least according to the frequent updates published by President Bukele or people from his administration.
For instance, the nation has used the aforementioned volatility, especially when the price dips, to accumulate more portions of the asset and to use the profits when the price increases to make plans for buying pet hospitals or new schools.
While addressing Bailey’s most recent comments, President Bukele responded in a somewhat ironic fashion, especially about the “genuine” concerns that the BOE has for the people of El Salvador:
“Bank of England is “worried about El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin? Really?
I guess Bank of England’s interest in the well-being of our people is genuine. Right?
I mean, they have always cared about our people. Always.
Gotta love Bank of England.”
Nayib Bukele – President of El Salvador – recently announced that his country has purchased another 100 Bitcoin. That’s about $5.4 million worth of the primary cryptocurrency, at today’s prices.
El Salvador Continues to HODL
As always, the “CEO” of El Salvador (as reads his bio) casually announced the purchase in a tweet on Friday. Despite Bitcoin’s bearish slump this week, the president has not second-guessed his investment. Instead, he took it as a chance to stack sats.
“El Salvador just bought the dip. 100 extra coins acquired with a discount,” reads the tweet.
Last month, the president announced a much larger purchase of 420 Bitcoin, after its dollar price descended into the lower sixty thousand range. Combined with the recent purchase, El Salvador now holds well over 1000 Bitcoin.
As always, notorious anti-Bitcoin gold bug Peter Schiff was not impressed. Responding to Bukele, he said the purchase was “unfortunate” for the people of El Salvador, and suspects that the nation will eventually cut its losses and sell its Bitcoin.
However, El Salvador has shown every intention to HODL until now. On the day it became legal tender in the country, the president announced multiple consecutive Bitcoin investments, even as its price rapidly fell. Then, when the price soared last month, El Salvador used its profits to build a pet hospital – but only by digging into the dollars within its Bitcoin fund.
Long Term Commitment To Bitcoin
Days ago, Bukele announced El Salvador’s plans to build a “Bitcoin City”, funded by a $1 billion “volcano bond”. One-half of the funds will be used to buy Bitcoin, and the other half will be invested into Bitcoin mining infrastructure utilizing the nation’s volcanic energy.
This is further proof of El Salvador’s long-term faith in Bitcoin’s price appreciation. Should it rise, the nation’s profits from its Bitcoin holdings and mining will help to pay back the bonds’ 6.5% annual coupon. So far, Bitcoin’s average annual price appreciation since 2013 has been 100%.
El Salvador continues to create history with its bitcoin adoption, with the latest initiative being the announcement of an entire city focused on the primary cryptocurrency.
The nation plans to put this plan in the works through mining-backed volcano bonds worth in total $1 billion. While this may sound groundbreaking and surprising to some, one person – Max Keiser – was actually the one to pitch the idea first months ago.
El Salvador’s Bitcoin Steps
It was June 2021 when the small Central American country shocked the world by announcing plans to adopt bitcoin as a legal tender. Somewhat expectedly, global organizations like the IMF, with which El Salvador was in discussions for a near $1 billion program, criticized President Nayib Bukele and his unorthodox approach.
Some locals also found issues with the proposed law and took it to the streets to protest against it. However, President Bukele and his administration didn’t back off, and bitcoin indeed became a legal currency within the nation as of early September 2021.
El Salvador started buying bitcoin, especially during some price dips, began mining it by using excess volcano power, and plans to utilize the proceeds from BTC’s appreciating price to build pet hospitals and schools.
While all of this might sound like a lot, keeping in mind that they have transpired in just a few months, the country took it a step further over the weekend by announcing a Bitcoin City.
As President Bukele explained it, the city will be circular and will “have everything,” from an airport and port to residential and commercial areas. There will be no tax, except for value-added tax (VAT).
The financing will come from $1 billion volcano-backed bonds, 50% of which the country will use to buy more BTC, and the remaining will go for local infrastructure and mining. After five years, the government will begin selling BTC gradually, which should increase the annual percentage yield for investors from 6.5% to somewhere in the low triple-digits, at least according to Blockstream’s Samson Mow.
The idea of the volcano-backed bitcoin bonds is certainty a world-first, and it can trace its origins to a June Twitter post from the popular BTC proponent – Max Keiser.
Back when the country had just announced its initial intentions to legalize the cryptocurrency, the Keiser Report host wrote, “I’m sure Bitcoiners can arrange a $1 billion lending facility stop-gap for El Salvador,” so the country could stop relying on the IMF (said in other words, of course).
Now that this idea is about to become a reality, many cryptocurrency insiders and even President Bukele himself outlined Keiser and his contribution.
— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) November 21, 2021
While explaining his vision, Keiser told CryptoPotato that since bitcoin operates as “perfect money,” which is “unconfiscatable, immutable, and uncensorable,” it creates confidence in leaders like President Bukele to “dream big.”
He described El Salvador as a “wildly energetic” country where the “surf, sun, jungle, and volcanoes create endless possibilities.”
“When you plug a visionary president’s dream into the cosmic power of volcanoes to bring the perfect money of Bitcoin to millions of fearless people – the future gets rewritten in the image of Bitcoin, and the future is relentlessly optimistic. Not just for El Salvador, but for the whole world.” – Keiser concluded.