El Salvador bought its first 400 bitcoins on Monday, and President Nayib Bukele pledged to buy “a lot more” ahead of adopting the cryptocurrency as legal tender.
El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as a legal tender officially kicked off Tuesday, explains a new report from CoinDesk, and the country announced the purchase of $21 million worth of the cryptocurrency ahead of the rollout.
Bukele announced the purchase of 400 bitcoin — worth around $20.9 million USD — in a series of tweets late Monday, marking the country’s first step toward a broader rollout planned months ago.
El Salvador just bought 200 new coins.
— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) September 6, 2021
“Our brokers will be buying a lot more as the deadline approaches,” he added, along with the hashtag “#BitcoinDay.”
Bukele is betting that making the world’s most popular cryptocurrency legal tender will boost the US dollar-based economy of El Salvador and encourage investors to spend more in the country. Domestic users will also get $30 USD in free bitcoin if they sign up for the national digital wallet Chivo.
In June, El Salvador passed a law that will make it the first country to establish bitcoin as legal tender alongside the US dollar, the country’s current national currency. All entities in the country will now have to accept bitcoin as a payment method for goods and services, and Salvadorans will be able to use the cryptocurrency to pay taxes.