El Salvador's president said on Twitter that the nation bought the dip in bitcoin as the cryptocurrency plunged

© Emerson Flores/APHOTOGRAFIA/Getty Images Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele gestures during a speech for his second anniversary in power on June 1, 2021 Emerson Flores/APHOTOGRAFIA/Getty Images

  • El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele doubled down on his bitcoin bet as a sudden price crash threw the country’s rollout into chaos.
  • “150 new coins added,” he tweeted, thanking the International Monetary Fund, which has been critical of his crypto ambitions, for the dip.
  • But reports of service outages on the government’s new Chivo digital wallet forced Bukele to pull it offline to scale up server capacity.
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El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele doubled down on his national bitcoin bet as a sudden price crash threw the country’s rollout into chaos.

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As El Salvador took the bitcoin plunge on Tuesday, the price of the volatile cryptocurrency did the same, hurtling as much as 17%. But that didn’t stop Bukele from buying the dip to the tune of 150 bitcoin, as he announced in a tweet.

“150 new coins added,” he tweeted with the hashtag #BitcoinDay. Bukele then thanked the International Monetary Fund, which has been critical of his crypto ambitions, for the dip. Analysts have feared El Salvador making bitcoin legal tender could imperil crucial financial-assistance talks with the IMF.

“We saved a million in printed paper,” he added. The country now holds 550 bitcoin on top of a $150 million fund for helping Salvadorans convert between dollars and bitcoin.

Yet Bukele’s triumphant tone was quickly eclipsed by events. Reports of service outages on the government’s new Chivo digital wallet forced Bukele to pull it offline to scale up server capacity. Other users reported issues signing up or unexplained fluctuations in their displayed account balance, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Glitches aside, companies in El Salvador appear to be getting slowly on board with the bitcoin rollout, with McDonald’s now reportedly accepting bitcoin payments in the country.

One bitcoin writer retweeted by Bukele posted a picture of his bitcoin-purchased McDonald’s meal.

“Just walked into a McDonald’s in San Salvador to see if I could pay for my breakfast with bitcoin,” he said. “Now I’m enjoying my desayuno [breakfast] traditional!”

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