A pioneering nation state in all things Bitcoin, El Salvador is making moves to get into bitcoin mining — using geothermal energy from one of its 11 volcanos.
An idea born on a Twitter Spaces session on the day El Salvador's parliament passed the "Ley Bitcoin" (Bitcoin Law), Nayib Bukele has moved forward with the concept of a volcano-powered bitcoin mine and shared a teaser video on Tuesday showing the work being done on the project.
The cinematic video shows drone footage of an industrial facility in the Central American nation, as well as clips of bitcoin miners being delivered and set up.
The move may prove timely in light of the recent resurgence of narratives surrounding Bitcoin's energy use; The network has repeatedly come under criticism based on the use of coal-fired power plants, particularly in China, to operate some bitcoin miners. Although no data on the exact distribution of energy sources is available, allegations of Bitcoin's negative environmental impact have been sticking around, even as a mass exodus from China saw many miners choose hydropower as their energy source of choice abroad.
While the actual method of operation and energy mix is not known, El Salvador's bitcoin miners could be at least partially powered by the geothermal energy emitted by one of the country's volcanos, meaning the miners would run on renewable energy.
El Salvador has been making big moves into Bitcoin since the announcement of its Bitcoin Law in June. Not only is Bitcoin's legal tender status officially in effect since earlier this month, but the Salvadoran government has also acquired its first own bitcoin; it currently holds 700 bitcoin, priced at around $29.7 million at the time of writing.