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El Salvador mining Bitcoin

How is El Salvador mining Bitcoin with volcanoes?

El Salvador mining Bitcoin – Bitcoin, the New Legal Currency in El Salvador

About a month ago, the government of El Salvador introduced an economic policy unseen elsewhere in the world: it turned Bitcoin into an official legal currency in the country. Legalisation was only the first step, though, and the country is still transitioning toward widespread use of the coin, and the population’s distrust of this new technology and the applications that come with it along with the currency’s volatility are some of the main obstacles to be overcome in this path.

However, president Nayib Bukele is not discouraged by that, and is still investing into turning El Salvador into a Bitcoin powerhouse. His latest endeavour in this direction caught everyone by surprise, but it’s an ingenious use of the country’s natural resources: mining bitcoins using volcanoes.

The energy problem

Mining bitcoins can take a lot of energy. Bitcoin runs on proof-of-work, meaning that the mining process involves solving a non-trivial computing problem. It takes brute force to solve it, that is, the computer has to try every possible combination in order to figure out the correct one. As a consequence, the price of bitcoin and the number of miners tend to be tied to the cost of energy use.

In a small underdeveloped country such as El Salvador, that becomes a greater problem. Mining is needed to get more coins into the economy, as well as a source of foreign currency for international trade, but the government also needs to supply electricity to its citizens, and importing power from its neighbours can make it uneconomical. So, how can this be dealt with?

Volcano land

El Salvador has around 20 volcanoes, most extinct, but some still active. Volcanoes are basically an infinite source of heat. Heat is what is used to power the thermal power stations, such as the ones that run on coal or petroleum derivatives. When the heat source comes from beneath the ground, that makes it a geothermal station.

While it’s still a kind of thermal source of electricity, it doesn’t involve burning up fuel, so there is no generation of pollutants, and it also doesn’t depend on fuel being available. The volcano lava is pretty much infinite.

Geothermal energy is not new in El Salvador, and volcanoes have been used to power the country for a long time now, along with hydroelectric energy.

What changed?

The difference is that now El Salvador has added to one of its geothermal stations a section dedicated to just mining bitcoins. The government installed 300 ASIC machines inside a station, in partnership with one of the country’s electricity companies, La Geo. Being so close to the source, it means that the higher demand of power is not going to cause bigger loss of power in transmission lines, meaning greater cost-benefit.

El Salvador already has to buy some of its energy from neighbouring countries, and this new power usage can increase their need, but it can also provide a new source of income for the government too, and this income will likely be used to expand the country’s generation of electricity. Similarly, China’s recent crackdown on bitcoin mining and transactions can also turn El Salvador into a mining safe haven, greatly contributing to the country’s economy.

The future

Right now, investments on mining may be a kind of short term investment. While the use of clean energy makes it less concerning for environmentalists and the general public, especially in El Salvador, El Salvador mining Bitcoin – the push away from proof-of-work and into alternative methods of transaction approval is still very real and very strong.

Ethereum is bound to start transitioning to proof-of-stake in December, even though it faces resistance from many miners. If the transition is successful, Bitcoin may also follow it afterwards, turning bitcoin mining obsolete. While that means one less source of income to the Salvadoran government, it also means more energy available, and Bitcoin will continue to be legal tender, but then hopefully a bit more stable and accessible to the population of the underdeveloped country.

El Salvador’s Volcanic Venture: Mining Bitcoin with the Power of Nature

Hey there, globe-trotters and crypto-curious folks! Have you ever imagined a world where digital currency and Mother Nature work hand in hand? Well, no need to imagine anymore. Let’s dive into the fascinating tale of how El Salvador is pioneering an audacious project — mining Bitcoin using the power of volcanoes. Yes, you read that right, volcanoes!

El Salvador’s Bold Bitcoin Bet

El Salvador made headlines around the world in June 2021 when it became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. This tiny Central American nation, known for its vibrant culture and lush landscapes, has taken a step further into what could be the future of finance. But why stop at just using Bitcoin when you can produce it too, right?

Why Volcanoes? Harnessing Geothermal Energy

El Salvador is situated along the Pacific Ring of Fire, one of the most volcanically active areas on the planet. This geographical advantage presents a unique opportunity. The country is tapping into its volcanic potential by using geothermal energy — heat generated and stored in the Earth — to power El Salvador mining Bitcoin. This method is not only eco-friendly but also cost-effective, making it an ideal solution for energy-intensive processes like Bitcoin mining.

How Does Geothermal Energy Work for Bitcoin Mining?

Mining Bitcoin, for the uninitiated, involves validating transactions and adding them to the blockchain, a process that requires substantial computational power and, consequently, a lot of electricity. Traditional mining operations often rely on electricity generated from fossil fuels, which isn’t great for our planet. Enter geothermal energy, which provides a clean, sustainable alternative.

The process begins deep within the Earth’s crust where magma heats water reservoirs trapped in the rock, creating steam. This steam is captured and directed to drive turbines, generating electricity without burning any fossil fuels. This green energy is then used to power the servers and cooling systems essential for Bitcoin mining.

The Environmental and Economic Impact

El Salvador’s move to use volcanic energy for Bitcoin mining could be a game-changer. Environmentally, it’s a significant step towards sustainable cryptocurrency mining, reducing the carbon footprint associated with traditional methods. Economically, it harnesses a homegrown resource, potentially saving millions in electricity costs while generating income through Bitcoin mining.

Moreover, this initiative could provide a blueprint for other countries with geothermal potential, demonstrating that it’s possible to mine cryptocurrencies in a way that’s both economically viable and environmentally responsible.

Challenges on the Horizon

While the idea sounds like a perfect solution, it’s not without its challenges. Geothermal energy, although plentiful, isn’t always easy to harness. The infrastructure required to extract and convert geothermal steam into electricity is expensive and technologically complex.

Furthermore, the volatility of Bitcoin’s value means financial returns can fluctuate wildly, which could impact the project’s economic feasibility. There’s also the political aspect — integrating Bitcoin into a national economy has been met with both domestic and international skepticism.

The Broader Implications

El Salvador’s venture into mining Bitcoin with volcanic energy isn’t just about creating a more sustainable method for securing new Bitcoin. It’s about setting a precedent for the future of national energy strategies and financial sovereignty. It challenges other nations to rethink how we power our increasingly digital economies and manage our natural resources.

Looking to the Future

As we watch this ambitious project unfold, there are a few key things to look out for:

  • Technological Developments: Advances in geothermal technology could lower costs and increase efficiency, making it more accessible as an energy source for Bitcoin mining.
  • Regulatory Changes: How will global financial systems respond to the rise of cryptocurrencies as national currencies?
  • Environmental Impact Studies: Continued research into the long-term impacts of geothermal energy extraction is essential to ensure its sustainability.


El Salvador’s approach to mining Bitcoin using the raw power of volcanoes is as daring as it is innovative. It encapsulates a broader shift towards integrating sustainable practices in every aspect of our lives, including our financial systems. Whether you’re a cryptocurrency enthusiast, an environmental advocate, or just a curious soul, this is a development worth keeping an eye on. Who knows? This small country’s big experiment might just ignite a global change, proving that sometimes, the most revolutionary ideas do indeed come from thinking outside the box—or perhaps, right beneath our feet.