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El Salvador Mined Nearly 474 Bitcoins, Adding to State Crypto Holdings Over 3 Years

El Salvador mined 474 bitcoins using geothermal power from Tecapa volcano, enhancing state crypto holdings.

Wed, 15 May 2024, 09:59 am UTC

El Salvador mined nearly 474 bitcoins over the last three years using a volcano-fueled geothermal plant, boosting its state crypto holdings to 5,750 BTC.

El Salvador Mines 474 Bitcoins Using Volcano Power, Boosting State Holdings to $354 Million

According to Reuters, in a remarkable feat, El Salvador has successfully mined approximately 474 bitcoins since 2021, harnessing the power of a volcano-fueled geothermal power plant. This significant achievement has propelled the government's total bitcoin holdings to a staggering $354 million at current prices.

The country's “Bitcoin Office,” an official government institution, has strategically increased the government's bitcoin holdings to a substantial 5,750 bitcoins. This significant increase in holdings reflects the government's confidence in the future of cryptocurrencies.

Since September 2021, the latest additions, 473.5 bitcoins worth almost $29 million, have been powered by a modest amount of geothermal energy generated by the country's enormous Tecapa volcano. This eco-friendly approach to acquiring the well-known cryptocurrency, which is not regulated by a national bank, is a testament to El Salvador's commitment to sustainable practices.

President Nayib Bukele, a fervent Bitcoin enthusiast, has been instrumental in promoting the country's Bitcoin mining activities. His administration, which was re-elected for a second term earlier this year, has installed 300 computers to 'mine' bitcoins from the volcano. This proactive stance underscores the government's commitment to the cryptocurrency and its potential benefits.

The state-owned power facility generates 102 megawatts (MW), with 1.5 MW dedicated to cryptocurrency mining. The so-called crypto mining process necessitates massive amounts of energy for computing and cooling data processing centers, which compute complex math calculations to protect coins like Bitcoin.

El Salvador Faces Criticism for Bitcoin Adoption Amid Global Scrutiny on Crypto Mining’s Environmental Impact

In other parts of the world, cryptocurrency miners have recently received growing attention for their energy-intensive operations and impact on power networks and carbon emissions.

El Salvador became the first country to accept Bitcoin as legal money in 2021, following the adoption of the US dollar two decades prior. The adoption of the volatile cryptocurrency by Nayib's government drew heavy condemnation, especially from the International Monetary Fund.

According to the Federal Bitcoin Office, cryptocurrency miners Foundry USA, Ant Pool, ViaBTC, F2Pool, and Binance Pool combined their resources to win a reward for establishing a blockchain verifying the last three years of Bitcoin transactions coming from the power plant.

Photo: Microsoft Bing

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