Nayib Bukele president of El Salvador tweeted on Friday that his country had minted the world’s first volcano-powered bitcoin. The mining operation was referred to as a “volcanode” after he posted a video earlier this week showing what looked like Bitcoin mining rigs. On Friday, Bukele posted a photo showing his country successfully mined 0.00599179 Bitcoins, which is about $280. The president said El Salvador is “still testing and installing” the geothermal operation but pointed out that the process has begun in earnest.
A mining rig verifies virtual coin transactions using high-performance computers. These rigs consume a substantial amount of power and have raised environmental concerns, especially in places like China that use high-emission energy sources, such as coal, to generate electricity.
Bitcoin’s price plummeted earlier this year when Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that his company, citing environmental concerns, would no longer accept Bitcoin for vehicle purchases. During that time, Musk said he thinks cryptocurrency has a strong future but that it shouldn’t be a threat to the environment. “We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel,” Musk said. “Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy. We are also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use <1% of Bitcoin’s energy/transaction.”
Volcano-derived energy is one solution to the environmental concerns that accompany the production of Bitcoin and other proof-of-work cryptocurrencies. Taking office in 2019, Bukele, a 40-year-old tech-savvy businessman, has attracted headlines with his plans to use Bitcoin to transform his poverty-stricken country.
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Bitcoin became a legal tender in El Salvador in June, joining the U.S. dollar as one of the country’s national currencies. The move marked a major milestone for cryptocurrencies, which were dismissed by many economists as a passing fad just a few years ago.
As part of the country’s Bitcoin rollout, which got off to a rocky start, El Salvador introduced digital wallets called Chivo, which means “cool.” Bukale’s administration hopes Salvadorans will utilize Chivo for buying goods and services as well as installing dozens of Bitcoin ATMs throughout the country. across the country. The government also offered adopters of the Chivo system $30 in free Bitcoin. In his opinion, using Bitcoin to transfer funds avoids fees and is a cheaper way to send money.
Bitcoin’s sharp Friday rise is also likely due to remarks made by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell the day before. Powell calmed investors’ nerves by testifying that the central bank does not plan to ban cryptocurrencies or make moves similar to those taken by China.