Source: A video screenshot
The President of El Salvador Nayib Bukele has wowed the Bitcoin world (BTC) with a short video that appears to show BTC mining rigs going online in a geothermal power plant that uses energy from the nation’s active volcanoes.
Bukele did not explain how many machines were now online or how much electricity was provided for BTC mining, but simply wrote that the project had taken its “first steps” towards a “VOLCANO”.”
A funny punster quipped:
On Reddit, the posters were generally very impressed, with a prediction that El Salvador was “moving towards [the] richest country in the world.”
Another called the news “rad”, while another noted that it was “hard to imagine, that this headline still existed a few months ago.”
And a surprised poster wrote:
“[ Today I learned] El Salvador has volcanoes and mines Bitcoins with them.”
But while Bukele basks in the international spotlight, he is fighting fires at home, where controversy continues over alleged government plans to pay employees in Bitcoin instead of fiat USD.
BTC adoption has received a lukewarm reception in El Salvador, with many expressing confusion about how the token works and questions about its volatility. Opposition leaders have fuelled further claims that the adoption of BTC will fuel money laundering in the nation.
Earlier this week, Bukele refuted the notion that the state will try to pay pensions in BTC or make companies pay wages in anything other than fiat dollars.
But reports continue to surface suggesting that the government actually wants to encourage adoption by allowing some firms to pay employees in BTC.
And opposition MPs have come into action – although Bukele’s supermajority in Parliament means that her efforts to bring about policy changes will almost certainly run into the void.
Reported that the deputy of the opposition party ARENA, René Portillo Cuadra, made an exception to comments made by Bukele on Twitter.
Bukele had stated that “Wages and pensions, the law states, must be paid in dollars. Portillo Cuadra pointed out that “there is no law that says that [pensions or wages] must be paid in US dollars.” The deputy therefore proposed to draw up an amendment to the relevant law and “put it to a vote” in the lower house.
But the same media company claimed that Bukele’s Nueva Ideas party simply “ignored” the proposal, which won only 16 votes with one abstention – well below the level required for a full vote.
Meanwhile, opposition GANA Party MP Romeo Auerbach told reporters that no matter what the government decides”he would rather receive his salary in USD than in BTC.”