El Salvador’s unconventional embrace of Bitcoin took a step forward this week following regulatory sign-off to begin issuance of so-called “Volcano Bonds” in early 2024. The Bitcoin-backed debt instrument aims to raise $1 billion to bankroll Bitcoin mining infrastructure and development of a proposed “Bitcoin City” in the country.
- El Salvador’s planned Bitcoin-backed “Volcano Bonds” received regulatory approval to launch in Q1 2024
- The bonds aim to raise $1 billion to finance Bitcoin mining infrastructure and development of a “Bitcoin City”
- Issuance will happen on crypto exchange Bitfinex’s regulated securities platform Bitfinex Securities
- Approval comes from El Salvador’s recently formed Digital Assets Commission overseeing crypto projects
- News follows the country’s launch of a Bitcoin mining initiative backed by Tether to further embrace cryptocurrencies
Confirmation came from El Salvador’s National Bitcoin Office posting that the unique bonds received clearance from the nation’s Digital Assets Commission. The regulatory body formed earlier this year to oversee cryptocurrency projects as Bitcoin becomes intricately linked with government plans.
“The Volcano Bond has just received regulatory approval from the Digital Assets Commission. We anticipate the bond will be issued during the first quarter of 2024,” the National Bitcoin Office announced.
The Volcano Bond has just received regulatory approval from the Digital Assets Commission (CNAD).
We anticipate the bond will be issued during the first quarter of 2024.
This is just the beginning for new capital markets on #Bitcoin in El Salvador.
— The Bitcoin Office (@bitcoinofficesv) December 12, 2023
The timeline aligns with numerous posts from President Nayib Bukele apparently confirming the commission’s authorization and projected Q1 launch. “Wen volcano bond?” Bukele posted in response to the news.
Dubbed volcano bonds because planned Bitcoin mining operations would utilize El Salvador’s rich geothermal energy from active volcanos, the debt issuance was first unveiled in 2021. The target is raising $1 billion, with bonds backed by Bitcoin BTC reserves rather than sovereign debt.
Proceeds would help build out Bitcoin mining infrastructure such as the “Volcano Energy” project in Metapán. The 241 megawatt power plant would run entirely on geothermal renewable energy to mine Bitcoin. The funds also back development of Bitcoin City, a planned metropolis with zero income taxes designed to attract foreign investment.
Issuance of volcano bonds will happen through regulated crypto exchange Bitfinex’s securities arm, Bitfinex Securities. This follows El Salvador passing landmark legislation in 2021 to recognize Bitcoin as legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar.
The country continues embracing cryptocurrencies through new initiatives like its “Freedom VISA” program granting residency for those investing more than $1 million in Bitcoin or Tether. Regulatory approval to offer volcano bonds marks the next phase in El Salvador’s unconventional crypto expansion plans.