El Salvador will inaugurate a new public pet hospital tonight, funded by what its president Nayib Bukele described as a surplus in a government trust fund caused by the rising value of bitcoin at the time.
Bukele first announced the idea for the pet hospital on Oct. 9 in a series of tweets, claiming it would be built with a $4 million surplus in a investment fund that the government had put in place to help it adopt bitcoin as legal tender. Although Bukele gave some details explaining how he was able to allocate these funds, many have since questioned how this mechanism works given that El Salvador has not announced the sale of any Bitcoin.
Bukele tweeted that the launch of the pet hospital will be broadcast live on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and local news tonight at 8:00 p.m. local time.
Local media noted earlier this week that the inauguration was originally scheduled for the evening of February 19, but the event was canceled without explanation. Elsalvador.com website posted a screenshot showing a press conference announcement on that date via the Presidential Press Secretary’s Twitter account but reported that it had been deleted.
animal hospital is located near the capital of San Salvador on a busy thoroughfare, in the municipality of Antiguo Cuscatlán. Construction of the building began in beginning of November. Renderings showed that the building had spaces for veterinary appointment consultations, operations, emergency services, rehabilitation and grooming, among other services. Each service has a symbolism cost 25 cents.
El Salvador has so far bought at least 1,801 bitcoins, based on Bukele’s tweets.
When Bukele explained how trust works in his first tweets about the construction of the pet hospital, he noted that the government was do not sell any bitcoin, but rather “using the USD portion of the trust”.
Over the past few months, several industry watchers have begun to analyze what the country’s current bitcoin balance would be worth based on the average cost of purchases and current bitcoin prices. One of those, El Salvador Bitcoin Portfolio Trackercalculated on February 21 that the country would have suffered a loss of around $18.2 million based on market conditions at the time.
Whether El Salvador is making additional gains from trade is largely unclear, in part because the public does not have access to its wallet address. During a January broadcast of the local TV news program Frente a Frente, a viewer asked El Salvador’s finance minister, Alejandro Zelaya, how El Salvador could earn bitcoin without selling the cryptocurrency.
“There’s always some sort of trade going on,” Zelaya replied, noting that when the president announced a $4 million surplus, it was because the trade had taken place.
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