El Salvador makes bitcoin legal tender as president looks to volcanos to mine crypto

President Nayib Bukele's law mandates bitcoin be treated the same as the US dollar.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor
Image: Getty Images

El Salvador has become the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, but President Nayib Bukele wants to take this one step further with a plan to create 100% renewable cryptocurrency mining facilities, using volcanoes.

On Wednesday, Bukele's bitcoin Bill passed with 62 of 84 votes.


With the Bill's passage, bitcoin will be instantly convertible into USD and will have the same legal standing.

Prices can now be displayed in bitcoin, merchants must accept payment in bitcoin, tax contributions can be paid in bitcoin, and bitcoin exchanges will no longer be subject to the country's capital gains tax.

"The state is under the obligation to promote and protect private enterprise, generating the necessary conditions to increase national wealth for the benefit of the greatest number of inhabitants," the Bill reads.

"Approximately 70% of the population does not have access to traditional financial services … it is the obligation of the state to facilitate the financial inclusion of its citizens in order to better guarantee their rights.

"The purpose of this law is to regulate bitcoin as unrestricted legal tender with liberating power, unlimited in any transaction, and to any title that public or private natural or legal persons require carrying out."

Bukele expects the introduction of bitcoin to generate growth across the economy.

Following his success with Congress, the president announced his plans for clean, renewable, and zero emissions facilities to mine the cryptocurrency.

"I've just instructed the president of @LaGeoSV (our state-owned geothermal electric company), to put up a plan to offer facilities for #Bitcoin mining with very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable, 0 emissions energy from our volcanos. This is going to evolve fast!" he tweeted.

"Our engineers just informed me that they dug a new well, that will provide approximately 95MW of 100% clean, 0 emissions geothermal energy from our volcanos. Starting to design a full #Bitcoin mining hub around it," read another tweet from Bukele, with a video of a well spouting water vapour.


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