El Salvador: first, Bitcoin citizenship, now, eco-crypto mining with volcano energy

The Central American nation continues to take the world by surprise. President Nayib Bukele has announced an eco-friendly alternative to mining Bitcoin using electricity, instead choosing one of its 20 active volcanoes to do the job.

Yesterday, news broke that El Salvador recognised Bitcoin as an official currency and that legal Salvadoran citizenship would be readily available for anyone who invested three BTC there.

Today, the Central American nation’s President, Nayib Bukele, announced that he had big plans to mine said Bitcoin via volcanic energy, with the help of LaGeo, a state-owned geothermal power company.

This comes as a welcome move for those of us panicking about crypto’s impact on the environment. According to a March report by Bank of America analysts, the global Bitcoin industry’s overall CO2 emissions have risen to 60 million tons, which is equal to the exhaust from around 9 million cars.

Using energy from one of El Salvador’s 20 active volcanoes to mine Bitcoin, however, is 100 per cent clean and renewable. LaGeo will harness this power in order to develop brand new, environmentally friendly Bitcoin mining facilities.

Our engineers just informed me that they dug a new well, that will provide approximately 95MW of 100% clean, 0 emissions geothermal energy from our volcanoes,” Bukele said via Twitter.

This is an impressive move that puts the onus on other countries, such as the US and the UK, to incentivise greener cryptocurrency mining. That being said, we don’t have volcanoes over here, so we may need to dig a little deeper to find an alternative. Keep an eye out for the development of solar-powered and wind energy crypto mining, but for now, it looks as though 2021 could be the year of BVE: Big Volcanic Energy.

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