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Cryptocurrency for Animals: El Salvador’s President Plans to Build Pet Hospitals With Bitcoin Profits

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El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has said that his government will fund a new veterinary clinic with profits derived from bitcoin. He also shared a video on Twitter that shows a virtual model of the planned hospital. In September El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender alongside the US dollar. At the end of last month, the country bought 700 bitcoins, worth around $31 million (about Rs 233 crore). The Central American country will use part of the $4-million (about Rs 30 crore) bitcoin proceeds to fund the grand hospital with spacious interiors and grass on the roof.

“Bitcoin is good for pets,” said President Bukele. The video has got more than 7.8 lakh views so far. “We will start building this pet hospital with our BTC profits,” the president said, as he outlined his plans in a Twitter thread.

“By the way, we are not selling any BTC; instead, we are using the USD portion of the trust, as the BTC portion is now worth more than when the trust was established,” he explained.

In August, the El Salvadoran Congress approved funding of $150 million (about Rs 1,128 crore) to facilitate the conversion from bitcoin to US dollars. Bitcoin lost about 10% of its value in September, the day the Central American country began introducing the cryptocurrency to its population. But it made up for losses in the following days, rising more than 30 per cent in the past week to its highest level since May.

The trust now has a “surplus” of $4 million. President Bukele wants to use this profit to build a hospital.

According to Statista, President Bukele has been a strong supporter of bitcoin since its inception, saying it would help improve the financial and economic systems of the country, where as of 2017 nearly two-thirds of the adult population did not have a bank.

Recently, El Salvador began mining bitcoins using volcanic energy. The move was a welcome move to allay some of the concerns regarding climate change over cryptocurrency mining activities.


Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things Orbital with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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