El Salvador’s President: ‘First Steps’ Being Made to Power Bitcoin Mining With Volcanic Energy

Nayib Bukele tweeted a video showing progress towards an idea he first floated in June.

AccessTimeIconSep 29, 2021 at 3:35 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:59 p.m. UTC

El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele said the Central American country is taking the “first steps” toward developing volcanic energy for bitcoin mining.

In a tweet posted on Tuesday, Bukele uploaded a short video showing images of work being done by state-owned geothermal electric company LaGeo to power mining machines. The video showed workers connecting mining rigs and a large black shipping container bearing the inscription “Government of El Salvador” being delivered.

In June, after approving a bill to make bitcoin legal tender in the Central American nation, Bukele said he had directed LaGeo to allow power-hungry bitcoin miners to plug into the country’s volcanic resources.

“I’ve just instructed the president of @LaGeoSV (our state-owned geothermal electric company), to put up a plan to offer facilities for #Bitcoin mining with very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable, 0 emissions energy from our volcanos,” Bukele tweeted at that time.

The idea was born in a Twitter Spaces session Bukele shared with bitcoin gadfly Nic Carter in June. It was based on the fact that El Salvador has hundreds of megawatts of untapped geothermal potential, as well as a network of underutilized power plants.

In September, bitcoin became legal tender in El Salvador, three months after the Bitcoin Law passed the country’s legislature.


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Andrés Engler is a CoinDesk editor based in Argentina, where he covers the Latin American crypto ecosystem. He holds BTC and ETH.

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