El Salvador uses volcanic energy to mine bitcoins

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Image Courtesy: NDTV Gadgets 360

El Salvador’s President, Nayib Bukele, tweeted that his nation had mined Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, using volcanic energy. He posted a picture of the mining operation in process, which revealed 0.00599179 Bitcoin, which is worth around $284 (about Rs. 21,098) at the current exchange rate. 

El Salvador became the first country in the world to recognise Bitcoin as legal money alongside the US dollar last month. The countrywide deployment through its Chivo crypto wallet was initially hampered, but technical difficulties appear to have been resolved, and the Central American country is going forward with its crypto experiment.

Geothermal energy accounts for about 25% of El Salvador’s domestic energy output. On October 1, President Bukele tweeted about El Salvador’s first attempt to capture volcanic energy to fuel Bitcoin mining.

Further, The President tweeted, “We’re still testing and installing, but this is officially the first Bitcoin mining from the volcanode,” indicating that the mining project was still in the works.

However, this is not the first time that volcanic energy has been utilised to mine Bitcoin. Previously, Iceland and Norway mined bitcoin using geothermal and hydroelectric energy. These countries use cheap energy sources to operate their mining equipment. The low temperatures in these countries are particularly advantageous since they naturally cool computer servers.

President Bukele had urged the state-owned geothermal energy utility LaGeo in June to undertake steps to minimise the power costs associated with Bitcoin mining.

El Salvador is known for its Volcanoes. Geothermal energy contributes for virtually one-fourth of the country’s total domestic energy generation. The country’s recent move is a good step toward employing sustainable energy to generate bitcoin. It will also alleviate some of the issues raised regarding the carbon footprint of bitcoin mining.