Academic Warnings on Bitcoin Mining in El Salvador

Leading Salvadoran engineering scholar said that mining Bitcoin (BTC) using volcanoes could prove ruinous for the country’s economy – he estimates that the government has spent $ 4,672 in public funds to mine just $ 269 worth of BTC.

Source: Twitter / @ nayibbukele

According to El Diario de Hoy, Carlos Martínez, professor of electrical engineering at the University of El Salvador (UES), said that in four days the state managed to mine a total of 0.00599179 BTC ($ 269 at the moment). The professor added that if the energy price was $ 0.13 per kilowatt hour and the government used 100 WhatsMiner M31S 3.74 kW devices, the state paid $ 1,168 in tariffs. “It’s definitely bad business,” Martinez concluded.

The professor made his calculations based on data released by the government on Friday.

President Nayib Bukele had shown restraint when the figures were announced, explaining that the government was “still in the testing and installation phase.”

Other skeptics continue to express doubts. The same media reported that energy specialists “agree that the current facilities of LaGeo (the state-owned geothermal production company) do not have the capacity to house a Bitcoin mining center,” stating that this activity requires more energy than the company does. may. produce with “volcanode”.

Mr. Martínez acknowledged that the country “does not have the resources to meet the demand for electricity” and warned that if enough energy is assigned to a mining center, “it would increase electricity rates for ordinary Salvadorans.”

The news outlet, which opposes Bukele’s power and his policy of adopting BTC, noted that the president has yet to “detail the cost of the equipment acquired for the project.” It also did not disclose the exact amount of power used at the site, the cost of building the facilities, or the number of government employees involved.

Last week, a leading NGO, the Foundation for Economic and Social Development, warned that large-scale Bitcoin mining in El Salvador “will lead to shortages and an increase in the price. Energy.”

Álvaro Trigueros, director of the Fusades economic studies department, reportedly said that the “Volcanode” mining would probably be limited and could not be developed on a “large scale” because the government is well aware of the problems that intensive mining “would generate electricity. in the national market “.

Regardless, on Reddit, many international users reacted with relative enthusiasm, with one writing that he hoped was “just initial difficulties until they pass. On some scale.”

Another wrote that the article was “just clickbait” because “it takes time to build the hash rate and smooth things out.”

Meanwhile, Bukele triumphantly proclaimed the success of the state-run Chivo app, which it says now has 3 million users, in a country of nearly 6.5 million people.

But mainstream left-wing media continued to claim that the government is disobeying the law in its campaign to adopt Chivo.

La Prensa Gráfica reported that the parliamentarians had been trained in the use of the Chivo application in a parliamentary office in the town of Sonsonate. The media and opposition members of the ARENA party claimed that this represented an improper use of government facilities and a violation of the code of ethics.

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