A law that will allow the Bitcoin-backed bonds to proceed hasn't been approved yet — and "two to three months" of further work would be needed after that.
Listen to the CoinMarketRecap podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts
El Salvador's Bitcoin bond has suffered yet another setback — with a top Tether executive confirming that its launch has been pushed back until later this year.
The Central American nation is hoping to raise $1 billion through the so-called "Volcano bonds." Half would be invested into Bitcoin, with the remainder spent on infrastructure.
Its debut was initially postponed because of worsening market conditions back in March, but the project was later halted indefinitely.
While some analysts claim that this is a sign of weak investor interest, Salvadoran officials have expressed confidence that the bond would be oversubscribed.
Another challenge concerns the fact that the bill required to pave the way for the bond is yet to be approved by El Salvador's Congress, where President Nayib Bukele has a majority.
In an interview with Fortune magazine, Tether's CTO Paolo Ardoino said:
"If the law passes by September, I would expect it to reasonably take two to three months to have everything else rolled out."
Next week marks one year since El Salvador took the controversial step of adopting Bitcoin as legal tender — putting it on a par with the U.S. dollar.
While the move was celebrated in crypto circles, the policy was met with condemnation by the International Monetary Fund.
El Salvador has also become a prolific Bitcoin investor — accruing an estimated 2,300 BTC over the past 12 months.
But there's been little transparency and oversight concerning these purchases, and it's believed the value of this cryptocurrency has plunged by almost $60 million.
Finance minister Alejandro Zelaya has played down the risk of these losses — and has stressed that it wouldn't jeopardize the country's economy.
According to Fortune, there is speculation over whether the volcano bonds will ever launch at all — and if it doesn't, there could be knock-on effects for President Bukele's ambitious plans to build "Bitcoin City" at the base of a volcano.
Earlier this year, Samson Mow — a Bitcoiner who is focused on the nation-state adoption of the world's largest cryptocurrency — described El Salvador as "patient zero," and warned it's crucial that the country's experiment succeeds.
"If Bitcoin can bring prosperity to El Salvador, then it's not likely that another government 10 years later is going to repeal the law and ban Bitcoin. They'll see what it's done. Bitcoin will be very much ingrained in their society and it'll still be a key component of their economy."