Blockstream Proposes Digital Blockchain Bond for El Salvador
(Bloomberg) -- Canada-based Blockstream Corp, a blockchain technology company, proposed the issuance of a digital U.S. dollar-denominated bond to El Salvador’s government as the nation rolls out plans to make Bitcoin legal tender.
Blockstream Chief Strategy Officer Samson Mow said company representatives met with El Salvador government officials to pitch the plan, and that officials expressed interest but still haven’t made a final decision.
Under the proposal, El Salvador would issue U.S. dollar bonds that pay a regular coupon via a tokenized security on a platform called Blockstream Amp, a Blockstream product used to issue and manage digital assets on the company’s Liquid Network blockchain.
A tokenized security would be more liquid than traditional securities because it trades on a cryptocurrency infrastructure that operates 24/7 and isn’t closed for bank holidays and weekends, Mow said. It also has the potential to reduce costs for issuers, he said.
Digital securities already trade on exchanges provided by companies such as INX Limited and tZERO Group, Inc.
El Salvador’s Finance Ministry didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.
Blockstream is using tokenized securities to finance its mining division by issuing a Blockstream Mining Note, and the company expects to raise $100 million with the offering, Mow said. In April, the European Investment Bank raised $121 million from a two-year digital bond registered in the public Ethereum blockchain network.
Using token securities for a sovereign bond issuance would be a huge step forward, Mow said.
“To have it done by a sovereign nation would be the next level up,” Mow said. “It would be groundbreaking if this were a path they were to pursue.”
Blockstream will also provide kits for El Salvador to set up satellite stations so residents can access the company’s satellite network, and will begin setting up the dishes in the coming weeks, he said.
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