If Elon Musk has become the CEO for the meme-stock era, then El Salvador’s Nayib Bukele is the president.
Bukele, with 3.5 million followers on Twitter, has become known for his unusual leadership style and social media presence. He tweets about bitcoin and posts memes. He trolls other countries and “buys the dip.”
And at 40 years old, Bukele falls in the Millennial generation — the cohort thought to be behind the meme-stock mania last year when an army of Reddit retail traders drove massive stock prices gains in GameStop, AMC and others.
El Salvador has risen in prominence since its successful “bitcoin beach” experiment and its adoption of the cryptocurrency as a legal form of tender last year. Bukele has been a driving force in the country’s crypto acceptance and has aimed to raise $1 billion for a bitcoin bond and as much as $5 billion more in the future.
But his plans and leadership have come under scrutiny from the investing world’s establishment, particularly credit ratings agencies and even the International Monetary Fund. Moody’s, for one, said the country’s bitcoin investments add risk to its portfolio. The president responded to the warning in a Twitter-like fashion: “BREAKING: EL SALVADOR DGAF.” (The letters are an acronym for “don’t give a f—.”) And to the IMF’s warning, he tweeted a meme from “The Simpsons” show.
The president, who has referred to himself as the “coolest dictator” amid purges of judges and prosecutors, also has said he trades bitcoin with government funds from his phone.
In one instance, he channeled meme energy when he purchased 21 bitcoin on the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century at the time of exactly 21:21:21. In a tweet about the purchase, he noted the country’s size is 21,000 kilometers and in another tweet he included the proverbial rocketship emoji — a symbol of the Reddit meme-stock and crypto crowd.
The president has touted other well-known Reddit lingo, as well. For example, when he bought 410 bitcoin in February as the cryptocurrency’s price was in a slump, he tweeted the famous “stonks” meme.
And in September he said, “we just bought the dip” after purchasing 150 new coins and often promotes his dip-buying strategy.
His Twitter account isn’t limited to bitcoin, though.
In a recent tweet, he trolled older US senators trying to examine El Salvador’s crypto adoption, saying “OK boomers.” In another tweet he joked about the irony of those worried about his country’s debt after US debt levels surpassed $30 trillion. On Valentine’s Day, he shared a silly meme in honor of the holiday. One of his crypto-enthusiast followers once tweeted he was “patiently” awaiting the president’s next meme.
The president’s office did not respond to multiple requests from Insider for this story.
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