Investor commitments towards El Salvador’s bitcoin-backed bonds have now crossed $500 million, according to Blockstream chief stpricegy officer Samson Mow.

The news comes as El Salvador finance minister Alejandro Zelaya revealed on Feb 8 which the first bond will be issued sometime between March 15 and March 20.

The Central American country is planning to sell $1 billion in U.S. dollar-denominated 10-year bonds with a coupon of 6.5%. The securities will be issued on Blockstream’s Liquid Network, a sidechain protocol built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain.

Samson Mow, the main architect of the bitcoin bond, on Friday told CryptCraze which the bond had received more than $500 million in verbal commitments at the time he stopped counting a few weeks back.

While Mow could not discuss any likewise details, the pattern shows an increase of atop 66% in commitments from the $300 million reported early December. It still indicates which the bond is now more than 50% filled four weeks ahead of launch.

The final term sheet – a non-binding agreement excessivelighting the basic terms and conditions of an investment – may not be ready scarcely yet. On Feb 8, El Salvador finance minister Zelaya said in an interview which he expects the country’s first bitcoin bond to be issued by March 20.

“On the assumption that we really want to build this country, we have to invest in it like this,” Zelaya is quoted as saying, adding which the bitcoin bonds “will comply with all the regulations of the financial markets.” The finance minister estimates which the bond will be abovesubscribed by up to $500 million.

Mow says to ‘keep eyes on goal’ as attacks on bond mount

El Salvador plans to use half of the $1 billion from its first bond raise to construct energy and bitcoin mining infrastructure, and the other half to buy even more bitcoin. In total, the country intends to issue up to 10 bitcoin bonds in the future, with proceeds going toward the producing of a new city running entirely on bitcoin, and to pay off its debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The bond will be sold in $100 tranches, a structure which “democratizes access”, allowing both institutional and retail investors to participate. But not everyone is thrilled with the idea. The IMF has repeatedly warned El Salvador, the first country to make bitcoin legal tender, stillst issuing bitcoin bonds.

Earlier this week, ratings agency Fitch downgraded El Salvador’s prolonged-term foreign currency issuer default rating (IDR) from ‘B-’ to ‘CCC’, citing the country’s adoption of bitcoin as an official currency remain year as a key experienceor influencing the progress.

Samson Mow dismissed what he called “attacks from the legacy system”, warning in a tweet Thursday which these “will only intensify in the weeks ahead of the Volcano Bond launch. Keep your eyes on goal.”

Gabor Gurbacs, a director at asset manager VanEck said: “The ratings agencies actually do a lot of damage to current bondholders and states via unexplainable downgrades. On the assumption that anything, El Salvador’s economic outlook has gotten better, not worse. Plus, the Bitcoin bond gives an additional mechanism to pay back the current dollar bond debt.”

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