El Salvador will use Bitcoin profits to build an animal hospital and 20 schools

El Salvador has now bought 1,120 bitcoins (Dreamstime)

El Salvador, the first country to adopt a cryptocurrency as legal tender, will use the profits from its Bitcoin Trust to build 20 schools.

The announcement was made by President Nayib Bukele as he laid the foundation stone for the country’s first veterinary hospital. Bitcoin profits of $4 million will help pay for it. It was later confirmed by the president’s press secretary in a tweet on Tuesday.

The money comes from the Salvadoran Trust for the Adoption of Bitcoin, or Fidebitcoin. The value of one unit of the cryptocurrency is currently at an all-time high of around $67,000. Fidebitcoin was created after the country adopted Bitcoin as legal tender in September. The fund currently has $150 million in reserves and is managed by the Development Bank of El Salvador.

On October 28, President Bukele confirmed on Twitter that the Latin American nation had swapped some of its dollar reserves for Bitcoin as he believed it was undervalued by the global market.

El Salvador’s latest purchase of 420 Bitcoins brought its national stack to 1,120.

The construction of 20 schools is planned as part of the El Salvador Mi Nueva Escuela program, which targets 400 primary schools. According to Bukele, the additional 20 facilities will be built using proceeds from the government’s Bitcoin fund, not taxpayers’ money.

El Salvador’s decision to make Bitcoin legal tender has been controversial. Reuters reported in October that a growing number of El Salvadorans experimented with digital currency, with a few million dollars transferred every day by migrants in other countries.

However, only a fraction of the country’s businesses accept bitcoin payments and technical issues have plagued the government’s cryptocurrency app, “frustrating,” Reuters said, “even committed users of the technology.”

Benjamin M. Yerger