El Salvador, Bitcoin, and volcanoes: a crypto love story

It’s official! Bitcoin is now legal tender in El Salvador, with the Central American country becoming the first in the world where retailers will be legally obliged to accept the cryptocurrency as payment. President Nayib Bukele’s proposals to embrace cryptocurrency were approved by congress last Tuesday night, with lawmakers voting 62 to 12 in favour of the plan. People won’t be forced to use Bitcoin, and the US dollar will remain the country’s official currency.

It seems the country’s bullish attitude could already be paying dividends in the space, with President Bukele tweeting that it would use geothermal power produced by their volcanoes in a bid to make Bitcoin mining more energy efficient.

Bitcoin mining, the method for bringing security to the blockchain and minting new coins, has been labeled as damaging to the environment. While the energy consumption of mining isn’t wasteful and is more efficient than traditional banking, it’s still a contentious topic

President Bukele said that he directed the president of state-owned electricity company LaGeo to “offer facilities for Bitcoin mining with very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable, 0 emissions energy from our volcanoes.”

Bitcoin mining, the method for bringing security to the blockchain and minting new coins, has faced criticism recently for using energy. While the energy consumption of mining isn’t wasteful and is more efficient than traditional banking, it’s still a contentious topic. Could El Salvador change the narrative?

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