SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) – El Salvador holds 400 bitcoins, President Nayib Bukele said on Monday, one day before the country formally adopts it as legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar.
Bitcoin temporarily climbed above 1.49% to more than $52,680 on Monday evening, Refinitiv Eikon data showed, with a Reuters market analyst putting it on track for $56,000-$56,300.
Earlier on Monday, Bukele unveiled that El Salvador had bought its first 200 bitcoins, saying on Twitter that “our brokers will be buying a lot more as the deadline approaches.”
Later in the day he said “we now hold 400 bitcoin”.
El Salvador is due to legalize bitcoin on Sept. 7, a move that the popular Bukele said will save Salvadorans living abroad millions of dollars in commissions on money they send home.
But polls show Salvadorans are skeptical about using bitcoin, wary of the volatility of the cryptocurrency that critics say could increase regulatory and financial risks for financial institutions.
(Reporting by Nelson Renteria in San Salvadorand Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler)