El Salvador mines 474 Bitcoin using geothermal volcanic energy

Since 2021, El Salvador has successfully mined 474 Bitcoin worth about $29 million, all thanks to the heat from one of their own volcanoes. This method uses the natural steam from Tecapa volcano to run 300 mining machines that mines Bitcoin.

Volcanic power mines Bitcoin

El Salvador has set up a system where 1.5 megawatts (MW) of power, out of the 102 MW generated by a state-owned plant, go solely to mining Bitcoin.

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Reportedly, this setup started around two years ago and uses the natural steam from Tecapa volcano to power up the machines needed to mine the cryptocurrency. Mining Bitcoin like this needs lots of power not just for the mining itself but also to keep all the gear cool.

The country’s “Bitcoin Office,” which is an official part of the government, handles this operation. They recently said that now the government has about 5,750 bitcoins.

The addition of nearly 474 bitcoins since 2021 hasn’t been easy, but using volcano power makes it a green choice. This kind of mining doesn’t depend on regular banks and is a clean way to get Bitcoin.

President Nayib Bukele, who likes Bitcoin a lot and got reelected this year, pushed for these mining operations.

President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador. Credits: Nayib Bukele Twitter

While mining Bitcoin can use up a lot of electricity, doing it with geothermal power from a volcano cuts down on the usual pollution and strain on power grids that other mining operations cause.

El Salvador faces global and local criticism

El Salvador was the first country to make Bitcoin a legal tender, along with the U.S. dollar which has been in use there for twenty years.

This move got them a lot of flak, especially from institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank because Bitcoin prices can jump around a lot, thanks to it being one of the most volatile assets on the planet.

Around the world, places that mine Bitcoin are getting more attention because they use so much electricity. But in El Salvador, using a volcano to do the work is a smart way to deal with those concerns.

Meanwhile, big mining groups like Foundry USA, Ant pool, ViaBTC, F2Pool, and Binance Pool have joined forces.

They’re working together to solve big Bitcoin puzzles that confirm transactions from the last three years, all of which started at this volcano-powered plant.

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