El Salvador Will Use Bitcoin Profits to Build New Schools
President Nayib Bukele has confirmed that El Salvador will spend $2 million on building 20 new schools.
- El Salvador will use profits from its Bitcoin investment to build 20 new schools.
- President Bukele announced the update during an event celebrating the opening of a pet hospital, which was also funded from its Bitcoin profits.
- The Central American country adopted Bitcoin as legal tender in September, though the decision has been divisive.
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The construction of the buildings is planned as part of El Salvador’s Mi Nueva Escuela education program.
El Salvador Building Schools With Bitcoin Gains
El Salvador is planning on using Bitcoin profits to construct new schools.
President Nayib Bukele announced that the government was planning to use its FIDEBITCOIN trust to build 20 new schools Monday. The update was confirmed via the press secretary of the presidential office via Twitter.
#ChivoPets | “Cuando se hizo este proyecto no habíamos ganado tanto dinero en el FIDEBITCOIN como hemos ganado ahora. Así que hemos decidido hacer las 20 primeras Escuelas Bitcóin”: Presidente de la República, @nayibbukele. pic.twitter.com/PsQPlMcda9
— Secretaría de Prensa de la Presidencia (@SecPrensaSV) November 2, 2021
FIDEBITCOIN is a trust account launched by President Nayib Bukele’s government as part of its move to make Bitcoin legal tender. The fund currently has $150 million in reserves and is being managed by the Bank for the Development of El Salvador.
So far, $4 million from the FIDEBITCOIN fund has been used to build a pet hospital called Chivo Pets. Bukele was appearing at an event to mark the launch of the hospital when he announced the plan to move onto schools next, local news reported. He said:
“When the project was launched the FIDEBITCOIN fund did not have the same amount of surplus it has today. This is what helped us decide to move forward with the approval of building the first 20 Bitcoin schools.”
Bukele reiterated that the infrastructure will be built solely using proceeds from the government’s Bitcoin fund and that no taxpayers’ money will be used to fund the projects.
The construction of the schools is part of an education program in El Salvador called Mi Nueva Escuela. It began in January and is aiming to build 400 new primary schools in the next three years.
El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender in September, though the path to adoption hasn’t been smooth. Thousands of citizens have protested against the update, and the government’s decision to make businesses accept the asset as a currency was slammed by critics worldwide. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin said that the policy was “reckless” in a scathing Reddit post on the topic last month.
El Salvador has been accumulating Bitcoin over the last few weeks during a period that’s seen the asset climb to new record highs. Bukele announced that the country had purchased another 420 Bitcoin when the market dipped last week, bringing its total reserves to 1,120 Bitcoin.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this feature owned ETH.