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Bitcoin Resurgence: El Salvador's Bond Triumph and Institutional Interest

Aug 16, 2023 at 05:37 pm

El Salvador, which embraced Bitcoin as an official currency in 2021, has witnessed its dollar-denominated bond outperform the majority of emerging markets, yielding a remarkable 70% return in the year 2023. This substantial surge in the bond's value has now attracted the attention of significant institutional players such as JP Morgan, Eaton Vance, and PGIM Fixed, leading President Nayib Bukele to confidently declare, "I told you so."

In addition to these institutional giants, notable entities like Lord Abbett & Co LLC, Neuberger Berman Group LLC, and UBS Group AG have also invested in El Salvador's debt securities since April, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The heightened demand for El Salvador's debt securities in 2023 stands in stark contrast to its performance a couple of years ago when it initially adopted Bitcoin as a legal tender. The adoption of BTC had raised uncertainties among investors, resulting in some betting against the country's bonds. Several financial agencies had cast doubts on the nation's financial outlook.

In February 2022, Fitch, a prominent credit rating agency, downgraded the country's long-term Issuer Default Rating from B- to CCC, citing policy uncertainties, the Bitcoin adoption, and an $800 million debt payment due in January 2023.

However, El Salvador successfully fulfilled its $800 million debt obligation earlier this year, instilling renewed confidence in the country's bonds.

 President Nayib Bukele highlighted at the time that they had proven critics wrong, who had doubted their ability to meet debt obligations on time after adopting Bitcoin.

This newfound investor confidence is evident in the bond's performance throughout 2023. In the same time period, El Salvador also passed a significant cryptocurrency bill, laying the groundwork for a Bitcoin-backed Volcano bond.

Bond performance in El Salvador from 2018 to 2023 as reported by BloombergBond performance in El Salvador from 2018 to 2023 as reported by Bloomberg

El Salvador and President Bukele have faced criticism since their decision to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender alongside the US dollar in September 2021. Financial experts had forecasted that BTC adoption would strain the country's financial conditions. Yet, within just two years, the state's debt securities have become highly sought-after among institutional giants, the very same entities that once advised against investing in them.

Consider preserving this article as an NFT to immortalize this historical moment and demonstrate your support for independent journalism within the cryptocurrency realm

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