One of the criticisms concerning the use of Bitcoin is the amount of energy it requires for its generation. But the president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, seems to have found a solution to that question, especially now the country will adopt cryptocurrency as legal tender.
The Salvadoran president announced that his country’s state geothermal energy company, Lageo, would begin use energy derived from volcanoes for Bitcoin mining, published the NPR site.
His decision was made known through Twitter:
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
“I have just instructed the president of @LaGeoSV (our state geothermal electricity company), to present a plan to offer facilities for mining #Bitcoin with very cheap energy, 100% clean, 100% renewable and without emissions from our volcanoes” President Nayib Bukele tweeted. “This is going to evolve quickly!”
Bitcoin mining has been highly questioned because it requires huge amounts of electricity to power the computers that generate the invisible currency, all to the detriment of the environment. With Bitcoin miners spread across the globe, the overall energy bill is daunting.
According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, the practice of mining cryptocurrencies globally uses about 105 terawatt hours of electricity per year, which is more than all the electricity used in the Philippines in one year.
In contrast, virtual currency adepts such as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey say that Bitcoin mining could lead to more renewable energy projects, like the one announced by President Nayib Bukele.
The increasing use of cryptocurrencies has also led companies to find cleaner and cheaper ways to generate or mine it, which is the term used for its production.
The Northern Bitcoin company installed a data center in an old Norwegian metal mine and uses hydroelectric and wind energy to run its computers, as well as cold sea water to keep computer equipment at the right temperature.
El Salvador’s plan is to use geothermal energy, where the volcano heats the groundwater generating powerful steam blasts that will rotate huge turbines to generate the required electricity.
The president of El Salvador said that he hopes that with the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender, investment in his country will be promoted so that the wealth of its citizens will increase.
With the approval of Congress, the Bukele government will be required to provide training and the necessary mechanisms for Salvadorans to access transactions involving Bitcoin.
For the International Monetary Fund the designation of Bitcoin as legal tender “raises a number of macroeconomic, financial and legal issues that require very careful analysis“.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.