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El Salvador’s President Went All In on Bitcoin. Then It Tanked.


The plunging value of bitcoin has hurt investors in cryptocurrency everywhere. The stakes are especially high in El Salvador, the indebted Central American country whose president has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money buying bitcoin and rolling it out as a national currency.

The country’s planned placement of an exotic $1 billion bond that bets on a rise in bitcoin’s value has stalled, according to the country’s officials, and the market value of El Salvador’s $100 million in bitcoin holdings has dropped by about a third, squeezing the country’s finances further and raising the odds that it will default on its more than $24 billion in sovereign debt, economists say.



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