The country of El Salvador has officially made bitcoin (BTC) their legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar. That Central American nation is making quite the buzz yet again after it was revealed that they’ll be using natural energy sources to mine bitcoin.
Such development was revealed by no other than the country’s President – Nayib Bukele after he tweeted a video showing workers delivering and installing what seems to be a heap of cryptocurrency mining equipment at a geothermal power plant. This is alongside the caption “First steps… #Bitcoin.”
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Prior to this, back in June, the self-proclaimed “coolest dictator in the world,” also tweeted that he has instructed the president of their state-owned geothermal electric company LaGeo, to set up a plan to offer facilities for bitcoin mining “with very cheap, 100 percent clean, 100 percent renewable, zero-emissions energy from our volcanoes.” It was also during that time that he revealed that the geothermal plant has dug a well that will provide 95 MW of power from volcanoes for the mining.
Despite these efforts, there are still sceptics out there regarding El Salvador’s mining project. However, if the short clip is anything to go by, it looks like its progress is heading towards its second stage.
Cryptocurrency and geopolitics
It is said that the implication for both cryptocurrency and geopolitics could be huge. For the uninitiated, El Salvador is situated on the edge of what is deemed as the Pacific Ring of Fire with 20 of its potentially active volcanoes. Additionally, per the U.S. International Trade Association, these volcanoes run the length of the entire country, not to mention that they’ve been harnessed to generate 21.7 percent of the country’s energy. This is in comparison to U.S. energy usage as all renewable energy sources together comprise only 12 percent.
El Salvador’s push simply shows why the most powerful benefits will most likely accrue to renewable energy resources since they are much more affordable than fossil fuel sources. Some would even point out that this makes bitcoin somewhat of a catalyst for further renewable energy development. Provided that Bukele follows through, BTC could subsidize the development of a much greater proportion of the country’s previous untapped power resources.
In the long run, it’s not just bitcoin that will be benefitting from it all. Neighboring communities could also make the most of it as well alongside other new industries that could also flourish from the abundance of affordable and greener power sources.