The Development Bank of El Salvador, BANDESAL, has refused to disclose the government’s Bitcoin purchase and sale records for the second time, according to an Oct. 31 tweet by the country’s Anti-Corruption Legal Advisory Center (ALAC).
Upon Congress’ approval, BANDESAL created a $150 million trust fund — FIDEBITCOIN — to facilitate conversions from Bitcoin to U.S. dollars ahead of El Salvador’s adoption of the cryptocurrency as legal tender in September 2021.
ALAC requested that BANDESAL provide information on the grounds of fiduciary obligations, including the date and amount related to the purchase and sale of Bitcoins, the time of approval by FIDEBITCOIN board of directors, the current balance of FIDEBITCOIN accounts, crypto wallet addresses and account balances used by the government.
ALAC also requested the disclosure of information related to the governmental process of buying bitcoin and exchanges involved in the processes, the value of public funds that the government used to buy BTC and maintain Bitcoin-related projects, and a list of foreign contractors hired to help with the projects.
In a refusal statement, BANDESAL turned down ALAC’s request on the grounds that private information held by the state is confidential and public access is barred by constitutional and legal mandate.
El Salvador purchased 2,301 Bitcoin since September 2021 for around $ 103.9 million. The country’s Bitcoin Volcani bond, meant to raise $1 billion to build a Bitcoin city, has been delayed in the midst of growing skepticism on the feasibility of the project and Bitcoin adoption.
To encourage wider adoption of Bitcoin, El Salvador also established a network of Bitcoin ATMs and launched “Chivo,” a government e-wallet application with a signup bonus of $30 in Bitcoin.
However, El Salvador’s Bitcoin network of 205 ATMs was recently dwarfed by Spain’s 215 active ATMs, while Chivo’s signup bonus triggered a rise in identity theft as technical issues arose following the wallet’s launch.
El Salvadorian President Nayib Bukele is a prolific Bitcoin investor, but neither he nor his government have revealed their investments in an official capacity.
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