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El Salvador sees greener crypto-currency mining in its future By Reuters


© Reuters. Outside a bussine in Antiguo Cuscatlan (El Salvador), September 17, 2021, a banner reading “We Accept Chivo and Bitcoin” can be seen. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas/Files

SAN SALVADOR – El Salvador could soon be a pioneer in the use of cryptocurrency bitcoin, said the chief of El Salvador’s hydroelectric commission on Friday.

The energy-intensive crypto “mining”, which involves computers, has been criticized by environmentalists for being a major source of electricity from mainly fossil fuel derived sources.

El Salvador was the first nation to accept bitcoin last month. It is now the legal tender for the U.S. Dollar, the currency that has been the official currency of the country since its inception.

President of the Lempa River Hydroelectric Executive Commission, Daniel Alvarez said that El Salvador is capable of producing electricity from hydroelectric, solar wind, and tidal energy projects.

Alvarez stated, “The possibilities here are endless. It’s all about willpower and having the resources and ability to begin these projects.”

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Salvadoran officials began using geothermal power to mine bitcoins from September at a Tecapa volcano plant, located 106km (66miles) east of capital. The plant was owned by CEL.

This plant produces approximately 102 megawatts. The government is planning to add five additional megawatts next. Bitcoin currently has 1.5 megawatts.

Officials have also set up an area inside a shipping container for 300 computers to process cryptocurrency transactions.

Authorities say that the Tecapa and another northwestern El Salvador geothermal plant supply 23% to 24% respectively of El Salvador’s national power grid.

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