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Bitfinex CTO Says El Salvador’s Bitcoin Bonds Will Launch This Summer – But There’s a Twist

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read
Steam at the top of a volcano in El Salvador.
Source: Eli Coory/Adbobe

The Chief Technical Officer of the Bitfinex crypto exchange has claimed that El Salvador’s long-awaited Bitcoin (BTC) bonds will launch this year “around June to September.” 

But the bonds, he explained, may not be bonds after all. Instead, the issuance could take the form of digital securities.

Speaking at Paris Blockchain Week, Paolo Ardoino, the Bitfinex CTO, explained El Salvador had already finished work on a law that will permit the issuance of digital securities.

Criptonoticias reported that this law has now passed the National Assembly but said the nation was also working on the creation of an entity “that regulates such assets” – suggesting that this was the last step required before issuance.

The Bitfinex CTO, however, suggested that the offering may not come in the form of bonds. Instead, El Salvador may decide to release “shares” – or “digital securities.”

Ardoino explained:

“When the idea of ​​creating Bitcoin bonds was put forward, US Treasury interest rates were much lower. And this product, the bonds, would have generated a return of 7% per year.”

But the CTO added that with interest rates “now reaching 4.5%,” it would be “hard to sell these 7% bonds as a product.”

He claimed that “investors’ preference” was to see the bonds issued “as shares.”

Ardoino said:

“The feedback we had from potential investors is that they would like to see them more akin to the digital shares of an energy company operating in El Salvador, or a [BTC] mining company.”

El Salvador’s BTC Bonds – What is Bitfinex’s Role?

The bonds (or shares) will be made available on the Bitfinex trading platform, and the firm has been working on the project – among others – with the Central American nation.

El Salvador’s BTC-keen President Nayib Bukele granted Bitcoin legal tender status in September 2021. The bonds project was announced shortly after.

The National Assembly has followed up with legislation that will allow the state to issue BTC bonds. But with markets shrinking in crypto winter, the government has repeatedly pushed back the launch.

The offering has been dubbed the “volcano bonds” – in honor of the nation’s many volcanic mountains, as well as the ambitious Bitcoin City project.

Bukele has spoken of his intention to use the money raised in bond sales to create a tax-free haven for international Bitcoiners. 

The city will be built at the foot of a volcano – and a geothermal plant at the top will mine Bitcoin.

Bukele and Bitfinex have stated that they hope the offering will raise around $1 billion.