According to Bukele, El Salvador’s Congress approved the use of bitcoin as legal currency in June and has ordered state-owned geothermal power firm LaGeo to open up its volcanic resources for bitcoin mining. El Salvador is known as the “Land of the Volcanoes” and, according to government figures, geothermal energy already accounts for almost a fourth of the country’s domestic energy output.
In an exciting 25-second teaser video released by the President, the video shows a government-branded shipping container filled with bitcoin mining rigs, technicians installing the hardware and plugging in the ASIC miners, along with sweeping landscape aerials showing an energy factory nestled in the woods next to a volcano.
If the Central American nation does issue new coins, it means that Bukele has fulfilled a promise made in June, when he directed the state-owned geothermal energy firm LaGeo SA de CV to “put up a plan to provide facilities for #Bitcoin mining using extremely inexpensive, 100% clean, 100% renewable, zero-emission energy from our volcanos.”
Alejandro de la Torre, a bitcoin miner, claims that Iceland has been using this technique of mining “from the very, very beginning of bitcoin mining.” El Salvador is not the first country to use this approach. However, It is good news for the broader discussion over bitcoin’s carbon impact that El Salvador has taken this step.