Bitcoin-Loving Bukele Slams Media As El Salvador Repays $800M Debt

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele took a dig at legacy international news outlets for their reports about the country’s debt situation.

What Happened: Bukele said legacy international news outlets incorrectly blamed El Salvador’s debt situation on its Bitcoin BTC/USD bet. 

He said although many outlets reported that El Salvador was in danger of defaulting on its 2023 bond without striking a deal with the International Monetary FundI, the country had paid off its $800 million debt “in full … plus interest.”

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“They lie and lie and lie, and when their lies are exposed, they go on silence mode,” he said.

El Salvador’s presidency press office told Reuters the payment, which followed an earlier transaction, included $604.1 million and interest of $23.4 million. “El Salvador is meeting its debt obligations,” it said.

According to a report by Bloomberg, optimism that El Salvador can avoid default is showing in the numbers: its dollar debt has rallied an average of 23% so far this year, the best performance of any emerging economy tracked by a key Bloomberg index. This month, El Salvador was able to secure a $450 million loan from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, helping to ensure El Salvador’s ability to meet future bond maturities until 2025.

Meanwhile, the El Salvador Legislative Assembly on Jan.11 unanimously approved a law regulating the issuance of digital assets, opening up the possibility of issuing government-backed Bitcoin bonds. 

Price Action: BTC was trading at $23,083 up 1.45%, in the last 24 hours, according to Benzinga Pro.

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