Digital Assets: El Salvador Ecologist Warns Of Disaster Mix From Bitcoin, Volcanos, And Drug Lords

El Salvador’s leading ecologist Ricardo Navarro warns of a potential and costly environmental error in President Bukele’s plans to mine bitcoin using volcanic energy.

Leading El Salvador ecologist Ricardo Navarro, who runs a non-governmental organization CESTA (Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technology), said in an interview with the Telegraph that President Nayib Bukele’s plans to use geothermal and volcanic energy to mine bitcoin were ill-advised. (CFX Magazine)

“Geothermal still costs more than oil, otherwise we would already be using more of it,” Navarro said. “We will simply continue to buy more oil.”

The increased dependence on a fossil fuel will have adverse environmental implications.

Besides, Navarro is unconvinced that the bitcoin mining facility would be able to run solely on geothermal power.

“I am under the impression that Bukele doesn’t really understand what is going on [with] the energy situation,” Navarro told the publication. “That is certainly going to complicate… demand.”

Navarro was speaking to Telegraph contributor Simeon Tegel and said Bukele’s proposed location for a bitcoin city next to a volcano was not logical.

“Talking about building this city beside a volcano is like thinking you are rich because you live next to a bank,” Navarro commented.

Moving on from the environment to bitcoin’s use case, Navarro also warned in a discussion with Politico’s contributing author, Bjarke Smith-Meyer, that El Salvador’s pivot to a digital currency could be a magnet for drug lords – because the law to make bitcoin legal tender was hasty and not debated enough, he remarked.

Bukele buys the bitcoin dip

Bitcoin plunged over the weekend sliding almost 14% from slightly above $52K at 11:42 p.m. EDT to below $45K at 12:28 a.m. based on data from Markets, according to

President Bukele tweeted that his country took advantage of the low price to add to its bitcoin holdings.

“El Salvador just bought the dip! 150 coins at an average USD price of ~$48,670.” He followed up with another tweet a few minutes later: “Missed the f***ing bottom by 7 minutes.”

El Salvador has so far purchased a total of 1,370 bitcoins.

Related Story: IMF To El Salvador – “Bitcoin Should Not Be Used As Legal Tender”

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