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Bitcoin is heating up — some would say exploding — as a Latin American country wants to mine the cryptocurrency using electricity from volcanoes.
El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele’s crypto plans are still in the works, with the president now pushing for a geothermal power business to make specific facilities available to Bitcoin miners.
In a Wednesday tweet from Bukele, the president said he would be instructing Mynor Gil, the president of the state-owned electrical company LaGeo, to facilitate Bitcoin (BTC) mining “with very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable, 0 emissions energy” from the country’s volcanoes. The firm operates the only two geothermal power plants in El Salvador based in the regions of Ahuachapán and Berlín, with announced plans to construct new facilities in San Vicente and Chinameca.
I’ve just instructed the president of @LaGeoSV (our state-owned geothermal electric company), to put up a plan to offer facilities for #Bitcoin mining with very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable, 0 emissions energy from our volcanos 🌋
This is going to evolve fast! 🇸🇻 pic.twitter.com/1316DV4YwT
— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) June 9, 2021
More than half of the country’s energy comes from renewable sources, with a geothermal power installed capacity of more than 200 Megawatts (El Salvador has 23 active volcanoes). According to studies, El Salvador’s geothermal power potential is closer to 644 MW, implying that LaGeo is only utilising about 31% of the possible electricity output. Bitcoin consumes more than 116.7 terawatt-hours of power every year, according to statistics from the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index.
The mining solution is the latest in a series of pro-crypto moves done by Bukele in recent days. El Salvador’s president told attendees at the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami last weekend via recorded message that he would be introducing legislation to make Bitcoin legal tender in the country — a proposal that was approved by the country’s Legislative Assembly with a supermajority earlier today.
At the time of writing, the price of Bitcoin was $36,021, up more than 10% in the previous 24 hours.