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El Salvador Boosts Bitcoin Holdings to $354 Million With Volcanic Power

2 mins
Updated by Lynn Wang
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In Brief

  • El Salvador has successfully mined 474 Bitcoins since 2021, utilizing geothermal energy.
  • Under President Bukele, 300 processors at Tecapa plant are dedicated to Bitcoin mining.
  • Bitcoin holdings now valued at $354 million bolster El Salvador's crypto economy.
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El Salvador now boldly embraces cryptocurrency mining with its innovative use of geothermal energy.

The country has mined nearly 474 Bitcoins (BTC) since 2021. This approach combines renewable energy with financial technology.

El Salvador’s Bitcoin Mining Revolution

The Bitcoin Office of El Salvador has noted significant developments. The state-owned Tecapa volcano plant now boasts 300 processors. These units tap into geothermal energy to mine Bitcoins, confirm transactions, and secure the network.

Mining using eco-friendly methods differs from traditional approaches, which rely on fossil fuels. This shift promises a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future for cryptocurrency. The geothermal plant, capable of 102 megawatts, dedicates 1.5 MW to mining BTC.

“El Salvador is the first to use geothermal energy from its volcanoes to mine BTC. All of this is part of its BTC adoption strategy, and mining is an important way to support its bitcoin accumulation program, buying 1 BTC a day and allocating part of its energy production to BTC mining. It is a comprehensive approach to ensure that the national reserves grow more in BTC over time,” Bitfinex told BeInCrypto.

In 2021, El Salvador took a historic step by adopting Bitcoin as a legal tender. The move drew both applause and scrutiny, particularly from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). However, some stakeholders predict that this trend will accelerate in the future.

“Every nation-state will be mining Bitcoin at one point! Some start earlier, some later,” Julian Liniger, Co-Founder & CEO of Relai, said.

Economic Impact and Global Reactions

Despite international critiques, the government has actively expanded its crypto infrastructure. It has increased its BTC holdings to $360 million. Mining operations have notably driven this growth, adding approximately $29 million recently.

El Salvador Bitcoin Balance
El Salvador Bitcoin Balance. Source: Bitcoin Office

These efforts highlight their drive to lead in the crypto and blockchain space. The country has launched several partnerships and projects integrating digital financial tools into its economy.

Read more: How Much Electricity Does Bitcoin Mining Use?

One significant collaboration is with Bitfinex Securities, which helps shape cryptocurrency regulations. This partnership also launched a $6.25 million token bond project. The funds will help build a new hotel at El Salvador International Airport, which is poised to create thousands of jobs and boost economic growth.

“Bitfinex Securities is exploring an interesting market—the tokenization of real assets. In this case, the Hampton by Hilton project seeks financing to build a major hotel in El Salvador. This not only attracts significant capital but also creates job opportunities. It will employ 1,000 during the construction phase and 5,000 direct and indirect jobs when the hotel becomes operational,” they explained.

Moreover, the government has increased its commitment to transparency. It established a public Bitcoin mempool, providing real-time data on national holdings. This platform aims to build trust and reliability in El Salvador’s digital finance sector.

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Shota Oba
After interning at a domestic blockchain media company while enrolled at a university in international relations, he worked as an intern trainee at two foreign crypto asset exchanges. Currently, as a journalist, he focuses on the Japanese crypto asset market, both technical and fundamental analysis. He has been trading crypto assets since 2021 and is interested in economic and social affairs.