El Salvador’s Bitcoin Reserves Surpass Previous Estimates by Thousands

This week, the Central American nation of El Salvador made a significant move in the realm of cryptocurrency by transferring over 5,000 BTC (Bitcoin) into a cold storage wallet. President Nayib Bukele revealed this development, effectively doubling the country’s known reserves of the digital asset.

Describing the new arrangement as their first “#Bitcoin piggy bank,” President Bukele shared on social media platform X (formerly Twitter) that El Salvador had securely stored the cold wallet in a physical vault within the national territory. Accompanying his announcement was a snapshot of the wallet, containing 5,689.68 BTC, valued at $411 million based on Thursday’s prices.

With a bitcoin treasury of this magnitude, El Salvador’s holdings now surpass previous estimates. Despite public trackers indicating the nation’s trove at less than 3,000 BTC ($205 million) on Thursday, President Bukele’s revelation underscores a significantly larger reserve. Earlier in the week, Bukele hinted at various means through which the country acquired BTC, including selling passports, conducting currency conversions for businesses, mining, and government services.

This disclosure marks the first instance in which President Bukele has associated his nation’s holdings with a specific address. Previously, he relied on social media updates to communicate about the size of El Salvador’s bitcoin reserves, providing intermittent updates with each new acquisition.

El Salvador made headlines in September 2021 by becoming the first country to incorporate bitcoin as a treasury asset, when the price of a single coin was approximately $52,000. As of Thursday, BTC prices had surged above $72,000, fluctuating between $73,000 and $68,000 in the past 24 hours. The transfers into El Salvador’s cold wallet occurred over the course of the week, with the majority of bitcoins arriving on Thursday, primarily from Bitfinex, according to Arkham Intelligence.