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El Salvador Mines First BTC Using Volcano Energy

2 mins
Updated by Ryan James
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In Brief

  • President Nayib Bukele announced the first results of El Salvador’s new volcano-powered bitcoin mining operation.
  • This comes after the country’s official adoption of bitcoin as legal tender, which happened in September.
  • The news was revealed in a tweet published by the office of El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele.
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President Nayib Bukele announced that El Salvador has mined a small proportion of its first bitcoin for the first time since officially adopting the cryptocurrency as legal tender, by utilizing power naturally obtained using geothermal power obtained from Volcanos.

The mining project has, according to the press release, generated a total of 0.00599179 BTC so far, and is operated by the state-backed LaGeo SA de CV. This is a fairly small number, in the long run, being the rough equivalent of USD 287.34 at the time of writing (or GBP 212.14).

This was celebrated in a tweet released by President Bukele, in which he shared the total amount of mined bitcoin so far, which is far from one whole bitcoin as of yet. The tweet also includes a section called “payment pending” which is listed separately from the amount of bitcoin that was gained through mining.

In this section, 0.00483976 BTC will be sent to the account via a “pending payment” – which is equivalent to USD 231.18 (or GBP 170.68) as of writing. In total then, the account contains 0.01083155 BTC, equivalent to USD 517.36 (or GBP 381.96) as of writing.
President Bukele’s tweet also specifies that the volcano energy-based mining project is still in the “testing and installation” phase right now, likely being the reason for the fairly small total number of bitcoin (or satoshis).

Back in early September, El Salvador became the first country in the world to officially adopt a cryptocurrency (specifically, Bitcoin) as legal tender.

Despite the positive messaging promoted by government representatives and media, the reported reality of things is far more controversial. September 8, 2021, was the day that bitcoin was officially interred as an official currency in El Salvador. Before it was implemented, the news drew as many critics as proponents. The Guardian’s Jeffrey Frankel, a noted crypto-skeptic, called it “pure folly” and continued to describe the idea of cryptocurrency being adopted as legal tender to be “the strangest, most worrying aspect” of crypto.

After the official designation of bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador had been introduced and implemented, the country saw riots which many media outlets linked directly to the adoption of bitcoin by the country’s government. The reason cited for this is due to fears that recognizing bitcoin as legal tender would “bring instability and inflation to the impoverished Latin American country.

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