The words “El Salvador” and “forward-thinking” have not been used in tandem too many times over the past few decades, but the poor South American country is making headlines for the way it seems to be embracing cryptocurrency, specifically bitcoin.
The President of the country, Nayib Bukele earlier this week announced the country’s legislature had approved “Bitcoin Law,” which makes it the first country to accept bitcoin as legal tender.
Now comes the next phase for Bukele, mining the bitcoin, and he has a very interesting plan that scores high marks for creativity if nothing else.
He said he has instructed the state-owned geothermal electric company to harness energy from volcanoes to mine the crypto. Not only that, but his country is already designing a mining hub that claims to use “very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable” energy from active volcanoes that’s going to supply the juice needed to mine the bitcoin.
I’ll explain that what more time because on the surface it appears preposterous. El Salvador has a plan to harvest the energy from active volcanoes to provide power to a bank of super-powered computers that are set up to solve the mathematical equation that is needed to mine bitcoin.
Here’s how the President broke it down in a tweet. He essentially said he was informed by El Salvadoran engineers that they have dug a new well that would generate 95 megawatts of energy that would be enough to power over 500 homes for over a year according to the NY Post.
“What you see coming out of the well is pure water vapor.” Bukele said.
When will this be operational on a mass scale? How many bitcoin will El Salvador be able to mine? Two questions that have not been answered yet.
Kudos to Bukele for the ambition and out of the box thinking. If he can actually pull it off it would be a game changer since the amount of energy currently consumed by mining bitcoin is more than all the energy the Philippines consumes in an entire year!