El Salvador has mined approximately $269 worth of bitcoin (0.00599179) using power from a volcano.
President Nayib Bukele, who has put his political future in a nationwide bitcoin experiment, tweeted Friday morning that this was the country’s maiden voyage to volcano-powered Bitcoin mining.
The president uploaded a flashy 25 second teaser video on Tuesday. It features shots of a container filled with bitcoin mining rigs and technicians plugging in ASIC miners. Also, aerials showing sweeping landscape aerials from an energy factory located in the middle of a forest bordering a volcano.
The viral video has received more than 2.3 million views and is captioned with “First steps …'”.
If the Central American state does indeed mint new coins, it will signify that Bukele fulfilled a promise he made in June, , when he stated that he had ordered LaGeo SA de CV, state-owned geothermal electrical company, to ‘put together a plan to offer facilities to #Bitcoin mine with very cheap, clean, 100% renewable energy and 0 emissions from our volcanos.
In a tweet, Bukele stated that the mining project is still in its infancy and that they are currently ‘testing out and installing’ new equipment.
The president also gave a breakdown of all the mining awards so far.
For a while, bitcoin mining powered by volcanoes has been a popular option.
Alejandro de la Torre a bitcoin miner, explained that it’s simply geothermal energy. He recently moved from China to Texas. “Iceland has done it since the very beginning of bitcoin mining.”
El Salvador literally means “land of the volcanoes”. According to , nearly a quarter of El Salvador’s domestic energy production is already from geothermal energy.
El Salvador’s move is also a boon to the larger debate about bitcoin’s carbon footprint.
‘ An untapped, fully renewable energy resource has been made available to us only because of bitcoin,” said Brandon Arvanaghi, a bitcoin mining engineer. “Bitcoin has been the greatest accelerator for renewable energy development in human history.”
This mining venture comes only weeks after El Salvador was declared bitcoin legal tender.
The rollout included hundreds of bitcoin additions by the government . It also launched its national virtual wallet, called ‘Chivo’ (or Salvadoran slang meaning ‘cool), which allows for fast cross-border payments and offers no-fee transactions.
CNBC reached out President Bukele for information about his plans for state-sponsored Bitcoin mining. We didn’t get a response.