El Salvador has bought its first 200 bitcoins, President Nayib Bukele said on Monday, an announcement that sent the price of the cryptocurrency rising one day before the country formally adopts it as legal tender alongside the US dollar.
Bitcoin temporarily climbed 1.39 percent to more than USD 52,600 on Monday afternoon, Refinitiv Eikon data showed, with a Reuters market analyst putting it on track for USD 56,000-56,300.
Earlier on Monday, Bukele tweeted that "our brokers will be buying a lot more as the deadline approaches".
El Salvador is due to legalize bitcoin on September 7, a move that the popular Bukele said will save Salvadorans living abroad millions of dollars in commissions on money they send home.
But polls show Salvadorans are skeptical about using bitcoin, wary of the volatility of the cryptocurrency that critics say could increase regulatory and financial risks for financial institutions.