El Salvador exploits BTC with volcanic energy: is it the answer to environmental problems related to mining?



El Salvador officially mined the first bitcoin using volcanic energy, President Nayib Bukele has announced. Almost a quarter of El Salvador’s electricity market is geothermal. Bukele shared a screenshot of a mined bitcoin on Twitter, explaining that it was the first bitcoin to mine the volcano.

Volcanic energy extraction was planned months ago

On Tuesday, the President of El Salvador announced that the country would start using volcanic energy for bitcoin mining. He uploaded a short video showing footage of workers at the state-owned geothermal power company LaGeo, which will power the mining machines, Coindesk reported. The workers connected, among other things, mining platforms. Back when El Salvador’s congress approved the adoption of bitcoin as legal tender in June, the president asked the company to give bitcoin miners access to the country’s volcanic resources.


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An effort to improve financial inclusion

Only 30% of Salvadoran citizens have access to financial services, Bukele said in a Twitter space conversation moderated by Nic Carter of Coin Metrics. The use of a government wallet will not be necessary, he assured. During the same conversation, Bukele said lawmakers were working on a new law that would grant anyone who has invested three bitcoins in the country’s economy permanent residence.

El Salvador recently passed a bill requiring all businesses to accept bitcoin as a form of payment for goods or services. However, the government will hedge against the risks of the volatile cryptocurrency. The Development Bank of El Salvador will set up a trust to instantly exchange bitcoin for US dollars to cover traders’ risks, Bukele said. He will hold around $ 150 million.

The President explained:

“If there is a glacier, he doesn’t really want to take the risk, he has to accept bitcoin because it’s a mandatory currency, but he doesn’t want to take the risk of convertibility, so he wants dollars to be. deposited in his bank account, when he sells the ice, he can ask the government to exchange his bitcoins for dollars, of course, he can do that in the markets too, but he can ask the government to do it immediately. “

The response to environmental concerns

The use of geothermal energy by this Latin American country could be the answer to the search for a reliable source of clean energy to mine bitcoin. It has 20 “potentially active” volcanoes, which represent nearly a quarter of the country’s energy supply.


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