El Salvador Plans on Harnessing Volcanic Energy to Mine Bitcoin

President Bukele instructed the country's state-owned geothermal electric company to come up with a plan.
Fabienne Lang

It's been a big couple of weeks for the central american nation of El Salvador. Following its decision to officially accept Bitcoin as legal tender, the country's President Nayib Bukele also explained the mighty method El Salvador will use to power its Bitcoin: Volcanoes. 

On June 9, El Salvador became the first country in the world to accept Bitcoin as legal tender and that it would do so within 90 days. Per the new law, if a business has the technological means needed to carry out cryptocurrency transactions, it has to do so.

The move hopes to improve the country's financial development, and help about 2 million Salvadoreans living abroad make easier transactions with the 6.4 million living in the country — something that is commonplace.

Moreover, Bukele made the point that nearly 70 percent of the population doesn't have access to traditional financial institutions, so a shift towards cryptocurrency would facilitate the lives of more than half the nation's people. 

Given how much electricity is required for Bitcoin to circulate, and the unsavory methods used for its mining, a few eyebrows were raised as to how El Salvador will manage to fully embrace the cryptocurrency without hugely damaging the country's environment.

This is where Bukele's innovative idea of using renewable, natural energy to power Bitcoin mining comes in. He has allegedly instructed the country's state-owned geothermal electric company, LaGeo, to come up with a plan where facilities that mine Bitcoin use "cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable, 0-emissions energy from our volcanos," as his Twitter post said. 

That's right: Volcano-powered Bitcoin. 

LaGeo is already on the task, and has dug up a well that provides approximately 95-megawatts of clean, geothermal energy — a feat Bukele showcased using drone footage with a perfectly-timed rainbow appearing in the mist of the well's water vapor. 

The video doesn't show the future Bitcoin mining facility, but it's apparently already in the works, as the president explained in his series of tweets. 

It's certainly an enticing method of mining Bitcoin, and the country is gearing itself to attract crypto investors and entrepreuners to help with the upcoming project, as the president's Twitter post on the matter seems too good to pass up: 

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