El Salvador's President, Nayib Bukele, took to Twitter this morning to declare an update to start the country's newly opened Bitcoin mining business run by volcanoes.
According to Bukele’s tweet, El Salvador has mined over $500 in Bitcoin, a figure that the government will undoubtedly raise over time.
He released a video on Twitter earlier this week that claimed to show the country taking its initial steps toward mining BTC using geothermal energy from volcanoes.
The video depicts a data center in the middle of a forest before zooming in on hooking up Bitcoin mining equipment that has already received over 2 million views.
Bukele stated that the initiative is "currently testing and installing" in a tweet today.
Bitcoin mining is a contentious topic due to the high energy requirements and consequent carbon imprint.
Because of the growing attention around cryptocurrency's environmental effect, several miners have switched to cleaner, renewable energy sources such as geothermal energy.
While the move may have saved President Bukele from environmentalists' criticism, his people are split about the country's acceptance of Bitcoin as legal money.
President Bukele initially stated his intention to recognize Bitcoin as legal currency in El Salvador during this year's Bitcoin Conference in Miami.
Since then, his decision has stirred discussion, with some Salvadorans claiming that the Bitcoin Law reveals President Bukele's already well-documented authoritarian tendencies.
Regardless of President Bukele's statements to the contrary, Article 7 of the Bitcoin Law mandates businesses to accept Bitcoin as payment, even if they do not want to.
Since then, the administration's attitude has strengthened.
“The government has harassed big business and small business alike. They’ve sent government agents to inspect businesses to ensure they are following labor regulations just because C-level executives have said negative things about the Bitcoin Law,” one local businessperson told on condition of anonymity.
President Bukele's support of Bitcoin has been maintained, although the key elements of the initiative have yet to be released.
This summer also witnessed a slew of polls and rallies, all of which demonstrated that many Salvadorans do not want Bitcoin to be accepted as legal money.
Critics who have spoken out against the government's policies have also been attacked.
“There’s no space to make wrong calls on this, and we need to be transparent because the cryptocurrency community cares about these principles,” she added.