Fancy a Bitcoin mined via volcano? El Salvador is making that happen


A geothermal pit dug beside a volcano will help power Bitcoin mining operations in El Salvador, the country’s president said in a tweet last night.

“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,” President Nayib Bukele said.

He added in a follow-up tweet, “Our engineers just informed me that they dug a new well, that will provide approximately 95MW (of energy)….Starting to design a full Bitcoin mining hub around it.”

Mining “proof-of-work” cryptocurrencies involve using up a massive computing system that solves millions of complex calculations each second to validate transactions on the Bitcoin network.

This requires massive amounts of energy for the maintenance, cooling, running of the machines. But some say as the source of this is via coal and fossil fuel-powered energy producers, it leaves behind a big carbon footprint for seemingly little benefit to the world.

Greener, cleaner Bitcoin

Renewable energy sources have sprung up as a solution to this problem. Windmill farms, solar plants, hydroelectric generators—and now, volcanos—have all either in use or soon to be in use to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Such a move helps alleviate the many issues related to mining, and helps battle the energy concerns in a world that promotes greener, cleaner sources of power and human activity.

Until then, however, the FUD is coming. A speech by US senator Elizabeth Warren yesterday was the latest instance of a political figure criticizing mining activity.

“Bitcoin requires so much computing activity that it eats up more energy than entire countries. One of the easiest and least disruptive things we can do to fight the #ClimateCrisis is to crack down on environmentally wasteful cryptocurrencies,” she said.

But some like BlockTower founder Ari Paul had a quick comeback to that, “Social media uses more electricity than bitcoin.  You could do more for climate change by not tweeting.”

Volcanic mining couldn’t come soon enough.

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