President Bukele Begins 100% Renewable Volcano Bitcoin Mining In El Salvador

On Tuesday Nayib Bukele, President of El Salvador, released a new video showing a geothermal facility with Bitcoin mining machines operating on the side of a volcano.

On Tuesday Nayib Bukele, President of El Salvador, released a new video showing a geothermal facility with Bitcoin mining machines operating on the side of a volcano.

The original video, which Bukele shared Tuesday afternoon on Twitter, has already received nearly 2 million views. It shows a government-branded shipping container arriving at the geothermal plant. The container is full of Bitcoin mining rigs, with technicians installing them.

Bukele’s caption for the video was just, “First steps…” The video appears to announce that the president is following through on promises made last June, when, just days after announcing he would make Bitcoin legal tender, Bukele invited Bitcoin miners to take advantage of new facilities being built specifically for the industry at a state-owned geothermal electric company. 

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In just four months, the president has managed to make El Salvador the first nation to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, distribute $30 worth of Bitcoin to all of the country’s citizens via the state-sponsored Chivo app, install 200 Bitcoin ATMs within the country, purchase 700 Bitcoin for the national reserve, and begin to mine the hardest money known to man in a way that is 100% renewable.

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Notably, Bukele’s initial volcano Bitcoin mining plans were shared just months after Elon Musk announced that Tesla wouldn’t accept Bitcoin due to its energy usage, which is required to secure the network and $794 billion worth of monetary property at the time of writing. Since then, Musk has been unwilling to begin accepting Bitcoin payments at Tesla again, even as available energy data has undermined his company’s decisions.

While Musk has shown he does not yet understand the Bitcoin network’s relationship to energy production and why it’s beneficial for his core renewable energy industry, or the humanitarian property rights issues it can solve for the world’s nearly 8 billion people, the benefits of Bitcoin are not lost on President Bukele at all, who has remained steadfast in his conviction and leadership of a Bitcoin-fueled financial revolution in El Salvador

Bukele has been evangelizing Bitcoin for months. He explained his objectives for volcano Bitcoin mining at the state run geothermal power plant in detail on the “What Bitcoin Did” podcast on June 23.

Bukele said, “Geothermal, it’s a very, very clean source of energy and it’s probably one of the — I would say the best, because there’s a lot of other green energy projects that are good, but it has almost no downsides.”

When describing the potential of geothermal energy over other popular renewable energy sources, Bukele said, “It’s just the Earth’s energy. And it works 24/7, 365 days a year. It will probably work for the next 500 million years, or whatever, just before the Sun absorbs the Earth or something. So, it’s going to be there; it’s there 24/7”.

He continued outlining plans for the first state-run volcanic Bitcoin mining plant, “It’s going to cost $480 million, so that’s going to be a legacy for the country because we are building infrastructure paid by Bitcoin.”

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Paraguayan Congressman Would Make Bitcoin Legal Tender If Elected President

Carlitos Rejala, who co-authored a Bitcoin bill in July, said if he wins presidency he will turn bitcoin into an official currency in Paraguay.

Yesterday, Paraguayan Congressman Carlitos Rejala shared on Twitter his plans to run for the presidency in 2023 and establish bitcoin as an official currency for his country if he wins. Rejala also co-authored a bill proposal with Senator Silva Facetti in July that sought to regulate Bitcoin in Paraguay, though that bill classified BTC as property instead of legal tender.

The progressive member of Paraguay’s Chamber of Deputies told Bitcoin Magazine in July that the goal of adopting Bitcoin is to “welcome the innovation of cryptocurrencies in Paraguay to the world.” However, the proposed bill sought to ensure tight control over bitcoin mining to the Paraguayan government and attempt to offer investor protection from bitcoin businesses in the form of intense regulation.

Since El Salvador enacted its Bitcoin law on September 7, many rumors have surfaced that other countries would follow suit in the coming months. Ukraine recently took steps in that direction by legalizing Bitcoin, although the new legislation did not make the currency a legal tender in the country. Paraguay is now the latest on the list, and its natural characteristics make it a perfect home for the bitcoin mining industry.

Rejala’s country employs nearly 100% renewable energy sources from hydroelectric dams, the most iconic of which, Itaipu, is the second-largest in the world and produces around 14 gigawatts (GW) of power. That much green energy could certainly be leveraged by bitcoin miners but provided they abide by Paraguay’s rules. Rejala and Facetti declared in their bill that those wishing to set up shop in the country would need to request and receive a bitcoin mining license granted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIC).

It is unclear if Rejala’s tweet indicates an actual intent to run for the presidency in his country. The congressman appears to be a Bitcoin bull; however, the intense scrutiny proposed by his bill poses some questions as to whether his country would be able to fully embrace Bitcoin.

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Miami Mayor Suarez Calls For Election Of A Bitcoin President After Joe Biden

During Thursday’s Bitmain’s Digital Mining Conference Miami Mayor Francis Suarez concluded his speech by challenging the audience to “Go out there and elect the next President of the United States to be a pro Bitcoin president.”

During Thursday’s Bitmain’s Digital Mining Conference Miami Mayor Francis Suarez concluded his speech by challenging the audience to “Go out there and elect the next President of the United States to be a pro Bitcoin president.”

A strong advocate of adopting innovation, Mayor Suarez has used Bitcoin to alter the public perception of Miami to give it the aura something like that of a nascent Silicon Valley. During his speech Suarez talked about working for years to integrate Bitcoin into the Miami “way of life.”

“The city of Miami has been dubbed by many as the Bitcoin capital of the world,” he began.

Francis Suarez, son of the first Cuban born mayor of Miami, brings a non-partisan pragmatism to the Bitcoin community. Notably, Suarez made Miami the second government in the world, and the first in North America to host Satoshi’s White Paper on its government website. He has been working toward putting Bitcoin on the city’s balance sheet. Miami has seen massive job growth and innovation in the tech sector in the last year, partly as a result of his efforts.

Suarez’s goal is to make Miami the most innovative city in America. As his speech pointed out, governments can at times help facilitate such innovation, but in the case of Bitcoin and disruptive technologies which are hard or impossible to control, governments too often try to obstruct innovation.

“Governments are going to lose control of Bitcoin,” Suarez told the audience. “Control is not necessarily a bad thing for governments to lose,” he explained.

Suarez outlined three challenges for the attendees of the conference to ensure a pro-Bitcoin regulatory future. The first challenge was: “Learn ways to simplify what is going on and explain it to a lay person.” The second challenge was: “Learn how to message.” And the third challenge was: “Go out there and elect the next President of the United States to be a pro Bitcoin president.”

To date, Joe Biden has never spoken about Bitcoin explicitly in public. His administration is largely indifferent to, and appears to completely misunderstand what Bitcoin is. This becomes apparent when we examine how the Biden administration has failed to differentiate Bitcoin from other cryptocurrencies that are centralized in writing or in speaking, which betrays a general ignorance of any fundamental understanding.

What stances the Biden administration has taken on “crypto” and presumably Bitcoin as well seem to indicate that the administration misunderstands it to be used largely for tax evasion, which is a years-old blatant mischaracterization perpetuated by those who claim to believe Bitcoin is also used for money laundering and drug trafficking. Biden’s team has proposed to solve these illusory problems through the American Families Plan.

It is unclear who Mayor Suarez believes should replace Joe Biden as a pro Bitcoin president, although one could imagine Suarez himself or Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) as likely candidates. No such plans were laid out at the Bitmain conference, but one can hope the topic will be revisited at this year’s Bitcoin 2022 Conference in Miami. 

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Belarus President Alexandra Lukashenko Urges His Citizens to Embrace Bitcoin Mining

The president of Belarus, Alexandra Lukashenko, has urged his citizens to stay in their home country and start mining Bitcoin instead of working in other overseas countries. 

The president said that during the Petrikovsky mining and processing plant opening last week on Friday, August 27.

 Lukashenko clarified that his nation enjoys adequate energy resources to deal with those electricity-intensive activities that China has famously banned in May.

“Create something with electricity. After all, start mining cryptocurrencies or whatever it’s called. There is enough electricity in the country.” Lukashenko said.

Lukashenko urged Belarusians to stay in the nation and seek alternative sources of income such as Bitcoin mining instead of moving to Germany or Poland to fill farming job positions. The Belarus president mentioned the already existing locations that Belarusians could use to conduct Bitcoin mining, urging citizens to use the country’s abandoned industrial sites to mine cryptocurrency rather than move overseas to look for low-paying jobs.  

Lukashenko reiterated that Belarusians are not wanted abroad, saying that foreigners are only waiting for Belarusians to pick strawberries.

“We must understand; they are not waiting for us anywhere. And if someone is waiting…maybe on the plantations, as Ukrainians often say, the Poles there or the Germans have to squirm, pick strawberries,” he stated.

Lukashenko, who became president in 1994, has been favouring cryptocurrency mining for a while. Belarus legalised Bitcoin-related business activities, including crypto mining, with Lukashenko approving the decision in 2018. In April 2019, the president suggested using the surplus power produced by the nuclear power plant in the Grodno region for Bitcoin mining.

Lukashenko argued that by using abundant energy that could otherwise go to waste, Belarusians could harness crypto mining and further increase their profit-making opportunities.

Bitcoin’s Energy Problem

Lukashenko’s remarks come when crypto mining recently faced fierce criticism worldwide for its negative environmental impact.

In May, the Bitcoin price dropped below $30,000 for the first time since January, after surging to an all-time high of almost $65,00 in mid-April.

While Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s tweets were one of the key reasons for such a price dip, China’s massive crackdown on cryptocurrencies was another major reason. China’s government intensified the crackdown on cryptocurrency mining and trading to prevent the transmission of individual risks to the social field.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin mining can be a very lucrative business in places with abundant, cheap energy sources. For example, two kids in Texas are making over $30,000 a month with cryptocurrency mining.

Since China issued a countrywide ban on Bitcoin mining, miners are moving overseas, and Belarus might also become a viable option due to its cheap electricity sources.

Image source: Shutterstock

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Dems Seen as Good for Bitcoin, Says Crypto Betting Market Founder

In brief

  • Rob Levy is co-founder and president of Hxro, a crypto betting market.
  • From his perspective, people seem to think Democratic control in Washington will be better for crypto.
  • He pointed to stimulus checks and policies from the Federal Reserve that could spur asset growth.

Speaking a day after portions of the US Capitol were overrun by pro-Trump protestors, Rob Levy, co-founder and president of crypto prediction market Hxro (pronounced “hero”), indicated the cryptocurrency industry is looking forward to a transition of power in Washington and the stability that may bring.

“I think, in general, the Democrats taking control is seen as friendly for crypto,” he told Matthew Aron on the Decrypt Daily podcast, only slightly hedging his forecast.

“We saw at the end of December [US Treasury Secretary] Mnuchin coming out with some more harsh words for Bitcoin and crypto in general,” he said, likely referring to “rushed” rule-making by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network that would require large transactions to crypto wallets to be recorded and/or reported to FinCEN. “We’re not going to be thrown curveballs like that, in the minds of the public, with Democrats running the US. And so that, in general, is friendly.”

Hxro is a gamified market that allows users to bet on whether an asset price will go up or down in a specified amount of time. Levy, who gets to see his users react to political developments in real-time, came with some predictions about what Dem control will mean for American’s checkbooks as well as for oversight of the apolitical US Federal Reserve.

The Democrats look set to embrace a liberal fiscal policy and “are more apt to push through bigger stimulus checks,” suggested Levy. Though a December 2020 proposal to send $2,000 to most Americans (instead of $600) failed in the Senate, that could be revisited now that Democrats are set to take control of the upper chamber.

Fiscal policy measures geared toward putting more money into citizens’ pockets goes hand in hand with central bank efforts to increase the money supply.

“This whole monetary policy of easy money, it’s not going away,” he said. “This policy of…we’re gonna buy all assets, the Fed’s gonna buy government bonds, they’re gonna just flood the streets with money, it’s not bearish for any asset, really.”

Including Bitcoin.

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As President @realDonaldTrump vetoed just nine bills, the fewest number since Warren Harding, who served just two years, from 1921-1923. Not since Chester Arthur (1881-1885) has a president who served a full term vetoed fewer bills. You can’t drain the swamp by making it deeper.

As President @realDonaldTrump vetoed just nine bills, the fewest number since Warren Harding, who served just two years, from 1921-1923. Not since Chester Arthur (1881-1885) has a president who served a full term vetoed fewer bills. You can’t drain the swamp by making it deeper.

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@realDonaldTrump Good news would be a veto. You’ve only vetoed 9 bills during your presidency, the fewest of any president since Warren Harding, who served for just 2 years, from 1921-1923. You have to go back to Chester Arthur, 1881-1885 to find a president who vetoed fewer bills in a full term.

@realDonaldTrump Good news would be a veto. You’ve only vetoed 9 bills during your presidency, the fewest of any president since Warren Harding, who served for just 2 years, from 1921-1923. You have to go back to Chester Arthur, 1881-1885 to find a president who vetoed fewer bills in a full term.

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President Trump Considering Pardon for Silk Road’s Ross Ulbricht: Report

In his final days in office, US President Donald Trump is reportedly considering whether he should grant clemency to Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht. According to reports from The Daily Beast, Trump’s White House legal counsel is currently reviewing the case related to Ulbricht. “…the president has at times privately expressed some sympathy for Ulbricht’s […]

The post President Trump Considering Pardon for Silk Road’s Ross Ulbricht: Report appeared first on The Daily Hodl.

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