El Salvador President Nayib Bukele is planning to use a state-owned geothermal electric company to facilitate cryptocurrency mining, using geothermal energy from the country’s 20 active volcanoes.
In a recent tweet, Bukele revealed his plan to use the country’s hundreds of megawatts of geothermal energy potential to mine Bitcoin.
The country has 644 MW of wasted energy. If harnessed, it would make the small Central American country the biggest Bitcoin mining facility in the hemisphere, while remaining 100 percent clean, according to Bukele.
The IMF Expresses Concerns
Unsurprisingly, regulatory and financial bodies globally shared their concerns about the country embracing and mining Bitcoin. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Bukele’s plan might raise “macroeconomic, financial, and legal issues”. However, the crypto community has embraced the move, echoing the fact that 75 percent of Salvadoreans are unbanked and have no access to traditional financial systems.
Crypto enthusiasts have also pointed out that using geothermal energy could push miners globally to move towards clean production of Bitcoin. Besides, countries like Norway and Iceland are already using hydro-electric and geothermal energy to power their mining rigs.
Other Countries Set to Follow El Salvador’s Example
El Salvador accepting Bitcoin as legal tender has been in the news in the past week – a move that surprised many in the crypto community as it has become the first country to do so. Days later, Wikipedia added Bitcoin as the country’s official currency alongside the Colón and US Dollar.
While powerful nations like China have been causing FUD in the market – in cracking down on BTC trading and mining – smaller countries like Argentina, Panama and Paraguay are now working on plans to adopt cryptocurrencies, following El Salvador’s example.
We could soon see more smaller countries and states, even cities, moving towards crypto mining as an alternative income. A recent example is Rockdale, a small town in Texas that became a mining farm soon after losing its Alcoa aluminum mine in 2019.
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