June 14, 2022
By Murtuza Merchant
Even as prices of the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization Bitcoin (BTC) briefly slipped below $21,000 levels, its 52-week low, Finance minister of El Salvador Alejandro Zelaya says he can only “smile” when warned about fiscal risks.
BTC fell to a low of $20,950 in the early hours of Tuesday morning but quickly recovered to trade around $22,200 levels, down around 7% in the day, according to data from Coinmarketcap.
With its current market capitalization at $430 billion, BTC is now trading 66% lower than its all-time high price of $68,789, seen in November last year.
Meanwhile, downplaying concerns that falling BTC prices pose fiscal risks for the Central American nation, its Finance minister Alejandro Zelaya said the only thing he can do is smile.
“When they tell me that the fiscal risk for El Salvador because of Bitcoin is really high, the only thing I can do is smile. The fiscal risk is extremely minimal,” Zelaya said at a press conference.
Zelaya cited an earlier estimate from Deutsche Welles that the country’s BTC portfolio had lost some $40 million in value.
“Forty million dollars does not even represent 0.5% of our national general budget,” he said.
El Salvador has purchased a total of 2,301 BTC since last September when it became the first country to adopt BTC as legal tender, despite warnings from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other credit agencies.
Meanwhile, Ethereum (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency, tumbled to $1,094.70, also recording a 52-week low. ETC is currently trading at $1,180, down around 3% in the day.
About the author
Murtuza Merchant is a senior journalist and an avid follower of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.