El Salvador Postpones Planned Bitcoin Bond: Report
By Nelson Wang
El Salvador has postponed its planned $1 billion bitcoin bond offering due to unfavorable market conditions, Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya said on Tuesday on Salvadoran TV show “Frente a Frente.”
It had initially been scheduled to launch between March 15-20 but the Russia-Ukraine war and its impact on the price of bitcoin caused the government to change the date, according to Reuters.
“I think this is not the time. There are some moves on the planet,” Zelaya said, adding that he prefers the issuance to take place between March and April. “In May and June sometimes you can, but the market variables get different. After September, it is difficult to raise, unless you are previously funded, as in the case of bitcoin bond,” he added.
According to Zelaya, the bitcoin bond will have a “substantial oversubscription” that could reach $1.5 billion.
In November 2021, President Nayib Bukele announced plans to build a “Bitcoin City” funded by the sale of the bonds, which have an annual coupon of 6.5%. Half the funds will be used to accumulate bitcoin (BTC), with the rest earmarked for infrastructure and bitcoin mining powered by geothermal energy.
According to Zelaya, the bond will be issued not by the government but instead by the state-owned thermal energy company La Geo. It will have a sovereign guarantee provided by the Salvadoran state, he added.
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