Bitcoin is being mined in El Salvador with green volcanic energy

El Salvador has 30 volcanoes, 20 of which are regarded to be potentially active, despite its modest size.

The geothermal energy produced by these volcanoes is a valuable resource that is now being used to mine Bitcoin in a new pilot project in Costa Rica.
Since September, Bitcoin has become an official currency in El Salvador, eliciting conflicting reactions from the country’s population.

How can you mine Bitcoin using volcanoes?

A geothermal plant was developed in 1999 near Berlin, 112 kilometers south of San Salvador, the capital city. The facility is made up of 16 deep shafts ranging in depth from 2,000 to 3,000 feet, through which steam circulates and three turbines operate.

Although the energy provided by those turbines may exceed 107 megawatts, only five are used for Bitcoin mining and operation. The remaining energy is utilized to maintain the country’s grid.

Around 300 computers can function 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, thanks to this energy source. Bitcoins are produced by computers that solve complicated mathematical problems and consume a significant amount of power.

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“We have a container with a series of processors that are now operational,” Gustavo Cuellar, technical manager of the Rio Lempa Hydroelectric Executive Commission (CEL), the state-owned organization that the plant is reliant on, stated.

“Renewable energy produces more than it sells structurally,” stated Sebastien Gouspillou, CEO of BigBlock Datacenter.

Salvador was counseled on the project by BigBlock Datacenter, a French bitcoin mining business.

The entrepreneur told AFP that “mining is a crutch for renewable energy… a huge boon” for using extra electricity. He also mentioned that geothermal energy mining units had already been erected in Iceland.

An eco-geo-political innovation

The entrepreneur told AFP that “mining is a crutch for renewable energy… a huge boon” for using extra electricity. He also mentioned that geothermal energy mining units had already been erected in Iceland.

“The mining sector is in turmoil following China’s crackdown in June,” said Cambridge University academics in a recent report.

However, “we lack data to demonstrate how redistribution of mining activity impacts the energy mix of the worldwide grid,” the researchers say, assuming that miners consume 0.4 percent of global power output.

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El Salvador has been utilizing Bitcoin as an official currency on par with the US dollar since September 7. The government is promoting the use of sustainable energy for local mining, which is still heavily reliant on polluting coal-fired power plants.

According to official figures, around 3 million Salvadorans have downloaded the government-launched Chivo app for Bitcoin transactions since the cryptocurrency was legalized in the nation.

However, some Salvadorans criticize President Bukele’s policies, citing an “authoritarian administration” and “destructive concepts that undermine the economy, such as Bitcoin.”