El Salvador holds $70M in Bitcoin. President Nayib Bukele is a famous Bitcoin bull, but El Salvador’s Bitcoin holdings only account for 2% of the nation’s $3B reserves.
El Salvador, a Central American country with a 6.5 million population, adopted Bitcoin as legal tender last summer. Since his nation adopted Bitcoin, Bukele has publicly announced each of El Salvador’s Bitcoin purchases on Twitter. El Salvador has also introduced low taxes on crypto income that are intended to attract outside investors.
El Salvador applied for a $1.3B loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) early last year, then adopted Bitcoin as legal tender a few months later. While reviewing the case, the IMF recommended El Salvador drop Bitcoin’s use as tender. El Salvador refused.
While allowing Bitcoin’s use as legal tender may be risky, holding 2% of a small nation’s treasury in Bitcoin does not seem to be extremely risky behavior. According to the World Bank, El Salvador is believed to have $3B total in its reserves, including gold. Bukele revealed that his country holds about 44,000 ounces of gold worth $79M. So El Salvador holds more gold than Bitcoin, and it only holds about 1,700 BTC. El Salvador is far from all-in on Bitcoin, and according to data from Bitcoin Treasuries, the small nation is far from being a Bitcoin whale.
China and Russia are believed to hold significant amounts of Bitcoin, but it’s difficult to know how much. Below are more closely verified Bitcoin holdings by funds, companies, and nations.
EntityBTC Holdings% of BTCUSD ValueGreyscale655k3.12%$27.19BBlock.one164k.78%$6.81BMTGOX K.K.142k.68%$5.88BMicroStrategy125k.60%$5.19BCoinShares70k.33%$2.89BUkraine46k.22%$1.92BTesla43k.21%$1.79BMarathon8k.04%$340MSquare8k.04%$330MCoinbase4k.02%$187M🐬 El Salvador1.7k.003%$70M