El Salvador has announced that all Bitcoin related projects, emerging in the country, will now be under the oversight of a newly established body. The government of the central American nation has announced the creation of a ‘National Bitcoin Office’, or ONBTC, that will operate as a dedicated administrative unit to monitor local crypto projects in the region. The development comes as El Salvador’s BTC-related activities are facing scrutiny due to withholding of related information. The government has published an official post on LinkedIn, detailing more information on the subject and how the newly created ONTBC will function in the country.
The creation of the ONBTC was signed by Nayib Bukele, the President of El Salvador. Bukele announced last year that the El Salvador would be the first in the world to make Bitcoin legal tender across the country.
“The objective of the ONBTC which will be to design, diagnose, plan, program, coordinate, follow up, measure, analyse, and evaluate plans, programs and projects related to Bitcoin for the economic development of the country. It will also be able to collaborate with other countries when required, in matters related to the BTC,” the LinkedIn post by the Torres Legal El Salvador noted.
Rolling out educational plans on crypto for locals and scheduling BTC-related partnership meetings for President Bukele will also be part of ONBTC’s responsibilities.
All public institutions related to Bitcoin will have to collaborate with the ONBTC to devise profitable and safe products and services needed for crypto expansion.
In the coming days, Bukele will finalise the director of this organisation who will add more relevant members to the team.
“Another task of the Bitcoin Office is to coordinate the actions related to the formulation of relevant policies on Bitcoin and blockchain that the Presidency determines in the short-, medium-, and long-term correspondence with the economic and educational programs in coordination with the corresponding institutions,” the post added.
El Salvador’s BTC holdings took a plunge when the crypto market crashed after the collapse of crypto exchange FTX.
BTC’s current value is stuck close to the mark of $16,111 (roughly Rs. 13 lakh). Exactly one year ago in November 2021, BTC had touched its last all-time high of $68,000 (roughly Rs. 55 lakh).
Earlier this month, El Salvador’s state bank Banco de Desarrollo de El Salvador (BANDESAL) refused to share details of the country’s current BTC holdings. The information was requested by ALAC El Salvador — a non-governmental anti-corruption bureau. That secrecy around its BTC possessions was seen as a way its government was shielding itself against criticism for perhaps exposing its public to major financial risks.
It is estimated that El Salvador had a total of 2,301 BTC as of September this year. In around a year, the value of this BTC holding slipped dramatically from $103.9 million (roughly Rs. 850 crore) to roughly $45 million (roughly Rs. 370 crore).
Last week, Bukele announced that El Salvador would purchase one Bitcoin every day as a gesture to support the crypto industry amid the ongoing downturn.