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October 5, 2022
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Mining bitcoin with volcanoes still costs more than oil

An ecologist in El Salvador questioned the country’s plan to mine Bitcoin using geothermal energy from volcanoes

Ricardo Navvaro, an ecologist from El Salvador, questioned the country’s decision to extract Bitcoin using geothermal energy from volcanoes, saying geothermal energy is more expensive than oil, according to the The Telegraph.

“Geothermal still costs more than oil, otherwise we would already be using more. What’s going to happen is that we’re just going to be buying more oil,” said Ricardo Navarro, who heads El Salvador’s Appropriate Technology Center.

Navarro also questioned President Bukele’s decision to develop infrastructure near Bitcoin-friendly volcanoes.

“Talking about building this city next to a volcano is like thinking you’re rich because you live near a bank,” he said.

He added that geothermal energy needs steam and groundwater, or water held in the ground or under rocks.

“But we already have problems with the lack of water in El Salvador,” added Navarro.

The ecologist’s skepticism was echoed by Marit Brommer, executive director of the International Geothermal Association, who also questioned promises made by the country’s controversial president.

“El Salvador is known for its geothermal potential. But if he’s promising something in the next six months, that wouldn’t be feasible.”

She said, adding that:

“It would probably take at least two or three years, and probably longer before you could generate electricity.”

El Salvador Bitcoin Volcanoes

President Bukele first announced plans to use volcanoes for Bitcoin mining in June.

At the time, he instructed La Geo – a state-owned electricity company – to “provide Bitcoin mining facilities with very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable energy and zero emissions from our volcanoes”.

In October, this process began, as Bukele himself announced via Twitter. A month later, Bukele announced plans to release a “Bitcoin City” powered by volcanoes – whose initial development would be financed by Bitcoin-backed bonds.

Meanwhile, President Bukele has been busy “buying the dip” with public money, yet without giving any clarity about who controls the country’s private keys.

Source: Decrypt

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