How El Salvador is Utilizing the power of
a volcano to mine Bitcoin
If you have been following the Crypto news lately you have probably noticed that the Crypto market has been blowing up in Latin America. If you didn’t know the reason behind this development, then fasten your seatbelt because you are about to find out.
El Salvador is a small Central American nation that is crippled with poverty and over 70% of its population lacks basic access to traditional financial services.
But what is this about a visionary new scheme to mine BTC using volcano energy that could revolutionize the Crypto industry and tackle the issue of poverty in El Salvador?
A bad rap with the environmentalist community
Although most people realize the great potentials held by Cryptocurrencies, they are still concerned by their high energy consumption. Bitcoin particularly has a bad rap within the environmentalist community because its mining carbon print is way too high.
This high energy consumption is the main reason why Tesla had to rethink their initial commitment to Bitcoin as a payment option. Elon Musk tweeted that even though he believed in crypto, it can at a cost that was too high to pay. He said that if people could come up with sustainable mining options then Crypto would become an even bigger success than it currently is.
Lately, we have witnessed visionaries trying to come up with alternative energy sources to mine Bitcoin. Iceland and Norway have utilized geothermal and hydroelectric energy to mine Cryptocurrency. Not only is the energy option cheaper but countries are generally cold hence cooling computer servers naturally.
El Salvador is known for its volcanoes geothermal energy which accounts for almost a fourth of the country’s domestic energy production. There is no shortage of volcanic power in the country making it both reliable and cost-effective.
Back in June, the El Salvadorian parliament passed a law declaring Bitcoin legal tender making El Salvador the first country to ever do that. Its other official currency is the USD.
By adopting Bitcoin as legal tender, Bukele’s government also sets out plans to provide the necessary training and mechanisms for El Salvadorians to access and engage with transactions involving Bitcoin.
The government then went ahead to roll out the Chivo crypto wallets nationwide. However, this project soon hit a bumpy road because of technical issues. The problem has since been resolved and the country seems to be moving ahead with its crypto experiment.
A life-altering tweet
Earlier this month (October 1, 2021) El Salvadorian president Nayib Bukele tweeted a short clip that unveiled the country’s new and glossy geothermal electricity plant. In this clip, we could see engineers receiving delivery of shipping containers full of Bitcoin mining rigs. The clip also showed technicians busy installing ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits).
Bukele captioned the tweet as follows ‘we are still testing and installing. But this is officially the first Bitcoin mining from the volcanode’.
Reading that tweet, I thought the term ‘Volcanode’ was such a smart wordplay.
Bukele is committed to Bitcoin mining that is 100% clean, 100% renewable, and has 0% emissions. He is confident that this development is going to evolve fast.
As if to emphasize his belief in the project, he updated his profile picture with an avatar of himself shooting a laser out of his eyes; a popular meme among Bitcoin fanatics.
The plant hopes to help the country ride an international wave of fascination with Cryptocurrency and ultimately drive much-needed investment into the nation. It is indeed a step in the right direction; just like Bukele, I believe that this development is going to evolve fast.