El Salvador President Nayib Bukele has tweeted that his country has mined Bitcoin, the world's largest cryptocurrency, using energy from a volcano. He shared an image of the mining in progress, which showed 0.00599179 Bitcoin, worth about $284 (roughly Rs. 21,098) at the current trading rate. Last month, El Salvador became the first country in the world to give Bitcoin the status of a legal tender alongside the US dollar. The nationwide rollout, via its Chivo crypto wallet, had hit a bumpy road initially but the technical issues appear to have stabilised and the Central American country is moving ahead with its crypto experiment.
Nearly 25 percent of domestic energy production in El Salvador comes from geothermal energy. President Bukele tweeted on October 1 about El Salvador's maiden attempt to harness the energy of volcanoes to power Bitcoin mining.
Indicating that the mining project was still a work in progress, the President tweeted, “We're still testing and installing, but this is officially the first Bitcoin mining from the volcanode.”
However, this is not the first time energy from volcanoes has been used for mining Bitcoin. Previously, Iceland and Norway have used geothermal and hydroelectric energy to mine cryptocurrency. These countries take advantage of cheap energy sources to power their mining machines. The low temperatures in these countries also come as a benefit as they cool computer servers naturally.
In June, President Bukele had asked the state-owned geothermal electric company LaGeo to make efforts to ensure the power cost involved in Bitcoin mining is reduced.
El Salvador is known for its volcanoes. Geothermal energy accounts for nearly a fourth of its domestic energy production. The latest move by the country is a welcome step in the direction of using renewable energy to mine cryptocurrency. It will also address some concerns about the carbon footprint of the cryptocurrency mining process.
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