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2021-06-10

Bitcoin in El Salvador

Nayiba Bukele's plans for cryptocurrencies in El Salvador are still a work in progress, and the president is now calling on a geothermal energy company to provide some facilities for Bitcoin miners. 

In a Wednesday tweet from Bukele, the president said he would instruct Mynor Gil, president of state-owned electricity company LaGeo, to facilitate Bitcoin ( BTC ) mining "with very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable, 0 emissions energy" from the country's volcanoes. The company operates El Salvador's only two geothermal power plants in the Ahuachapán and Berlin regions, with announced plans to build new facilities in San Vicente and Chinameca.

More than half of the country's energy comes from renewable energy, with installed geothermal energy capacity - El Salvador is home to 23 active volcanoes - of more than 200 megawatts. However, reports suggest that El Salvador's geothermal energy potential is closer to 644 MW, meaning LaGeo is currently using about 31% of the available energy. According to data from the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, Bitcoin consumes over 116.7 terawatt hours of electricity annually.

The digging solution is in the middle of a long list of pro-crypto actions that Bukele has taken over the past few days. At the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami last weekend, El Salvador's president told attendees via a recorded message that he would introduce a bill to make Bitcoin legal tender in the country - a proposal that was voted on today by a super-majority in the Legislative Assembly.

At the time of publication, Bitcoin's price stands at $36,021, having risen more than 10% in the past 24 hours.