El Salvador and bitcoin
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  • El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele revealed the "first steps" of a bitcoin volcano project on Tuesday.
  • Bukele has said his government would look into using volcano energy to power bitcoin mining.
  • Bitcoin mining is hugely energy intensive, and consumes more power in a year than the Philippines.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele said the Central American country has taken the first steps towards getting its bitcoin volcano project underway, in an announcement on Twitter on Tuesday.

Bukele said in a few words that the project had begun, and released a video that captured the scene of an energy factory surrounded by a forest near a volcano.

Fast-forward a little, and the clip shows bitcoin mining rigs being installed, suggesting he has kept his promise to explore volcano energy as a source of renewable power.

The president first said in June he would ask the country's state-owned geothermal electric company, LaGeo SA de CV, to "put up a plan to offer facilities for #Bitcoin mining with very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable, 0 emissions energy from our volcanos."

"First steps," Bukele said in his Twitter post.

Nayib Bukele volcano video
Nayib Bukele Twitter

Bitcoin mining is the process by which new coins are extracted from blocks of data in the network, as powerful computers solve complex algorithms. It is highly energy intensive and consumes more power in a year than the Philippines, according to Cambridge's bitcoin electricity consumption index.

El Salvador officially made bitcoin legal tender alongside the US dollar in September. The rollout began September 7, a day after the country purchased 400 bitcoin.

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