El Salvador Mines Bitcoin Using Volcano Power, Boosting Holdings

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El Salvador's Eco-Friendly Bitcoin Mining Yields 474 Coins
  • El Salvador mines nearly 474 bitcoins in 3 years using geothermal power.
  • Government’s Bitcoin Holdings reach $354 million, aiming for eco-friendly mining.
  • Collaboration with major miners verifies past Bitcoin transactions.

El Salvador has substantially increased its Bitcoin holdings by mining nearly 474 bitcoins in the last three years. This achievement, powered by the country’s geothermal energy plants, elevates the government’s total bitcoin portfolio to approximately $354 million. El Salvador seeks to leverage its volcanic activity for a more sustainable way to mine the cryptocurrency, setting itself apart from the conventional methods that have drawn environmental criticism.

President Nayib Bukele, a vocal Bitcoin advocate, re-elected in 2024, authorised the installation of 300 processors specifically designed for mining bitcoins. These processors utilise 1.5 MW of power from a 102 MW geothermal plant.

Cryptocurrency mining typically requires vast amounts of energy for complex computations and cooling facilities. The high energy demand has raised concerns about the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining, particularly its strain on power grids and contribution to carbon emissions.

Reports indicate El Salvador’s foray into geothermal Bitcoin mining is not without its challenges. While the 1.5 MW dedicated to mining represents a small portion of the plant’s overall capacity, the long-term success of this strategy hinges on two key factors; the price of Bitcoin and the efficiency of mining operations. 

Furthermore, El Salvador’s 2021 decision to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender alongside the US dollar remains a point of contention. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other financial institutions have expressed concerns about the volatility of Bitcoin and its potential impact on the country’s financial stability.

Despite these hurdles, El Salvador’s experiment with geothermal Bitcoin mining is a significant development in the cryptocurrency world. It remains to be seen if this approach can offer a sustainable and environmentally friendly model for the future of cryptocurrency mining.

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