In September, El Salvador became the first country in the world to make Bitcoin a legal tender. The country’s government is working hard to develop crypto-related projects. The country known as “the land of the volcanoes” mined 0.00599179 Bitcoin, or about $269, with power harnessed from a volcano.
On early Friday morning, President Nayib Bukele tweeted that this is the country’s maiden voyage into volcano-powered Bitcoin mining. Three days earlier, Bukele posted a flashy 25-second teaser video, which includes shots of a government-branded shipping container full of Bitcoin mining rigs, etc.
If El Salvador is, indeed, minting new coin, it will mean the country’s leader kept his word. In June, Bukele said that he instructed a state-owned geothermal electric company to come up with a plan to offer facilities for Bitcoin mining.
The country’s leader also mentioned one interesting detail on Friday. Bukele indicated in his tweet that the mining project was still a work in progress. They are in the process of testing as well as installing new mining equipment. El Salvador’s decision is also a boon for the larger debate around Bitcoin’s carbon footprint.
El Salvador is not the first country that decided to use geothermal energy for crypto mining. Iceland started using geothermal energy for the same purpose many years ago.
El Salvador and Bitcoin
Bitcoin plays an important role in El Salvador. The country bought roughly $20.9 million of Bitcoin on September 6. The country purchased a total of 400 Bitcoin according to President Nayib Bukele. His announcement represented a major milestone for the world’s largest cryptocurrency. The country from Central America is the first country in the world to have officially put the world’s largest cryptocurrency on its balance sheet and hold it in its reserves.
The country’s government added hundreds of Bitcoin to its balance sheet. It also launched its own national virtual wallet called Chivo, which people can sign up for with a national ID in order to transact using Bitcoin. They will receive $30 worth of the largest cryptocurrency when they sign up in a push to speed up adoption.
At the end of August, the Congress of El Salvador passed a law to create a $150 million fund. The purpose of this fund is to help facilitate conversions from Bitcoin to U.S. dollars. More than 60 lawmakers voted in favor of the fund while 14 lawmakers voted against the $150 million fund.