In September 2021, El Salvador President Nayib Bukele bet on Bitcoin when he invested Significant cash into the crypto and made it legal tender in the Central American nation. The $105 million investment is still not paying off one year later.
The “Nayib Tracker” website data reveals that Bukele is down by over $60 million from Bitcoin purchases, and many citizens are yet to adopt the crypto usage. Also, the country’s economy is performing poorly.
The IMF (International Monetary Fund) predicts El Salvador’s economy will grow by just 1.5% next year, which can only be considered a recession.
President Bukele Leads Over Leaders of Strong Economies
Despite the many setbacks, President Bukele retains popularity in Latin America. The recent CID Gallup poll released on Thursday reveals that the leader has the highest approval rating in the region. CID Gallup is a consultancy firm based in Costa Rica.
The firm engaged about 1,200 citizens in its survey drawn from 13 Latin American nations. The poll confirms President Bukele as the most popular, with an approval rating of 85% outperforming leaders of major Latin American economies like Argentina and Mexico.
Most likely, this development surprises political observers outside of El Salvador, considering the recent Civil unrest in the country. In 2021, Salvadorans took to the streets severally to protest against the President consolidating too much power plus the Bitcoin Law.
El Salvador’s President’s Bitcoin Law Faces Resistance
The Bitcoin Law received backlash from United States lawmakers, terming it a careless gamble to the IMF and the World Bank. Bukele’s Bitcoin Law requires businesses in El Salvador to accept the crypto if they have the technological means to facilitate those transactions.
To encourage Salvadorans to use cryptocurrency, President Bukele’s government distributed $29 worth of Bitcoin to each citizen. The crypto got issued via a state digital wallet. However, recent reports indicate many citizens seem uninterested in Bitcoin, and businesses are still not accepting it.
Elsewhere, a few years ago, Salvador was among the world’s most murderous countries, but it is now considered less dangerous under Bukele’s leadership. It could be among the potential reasons why the President retains his popularity in the Latin region.