TALES FROM THE CRYPTO
PC Gamer US Edition|December 2021
Environmentally-friendly power for CRYPTO MINING is becoming a big issue
Ian Evenden

With the expert timing exhibited by all great comedians, we wrote in these pages earlier this year about cryptocurrency mining and encryption, only for the whole crypto landscape to suddenly change.

At a time when Norton is launching crypto-mining antivirus software, Nvidia has taken steps to reduce the mining hash rates of its latest gaming GPUs, and yet crypto prices remain high, and low, and high again. It can sometimes feel that trying to keep up with this sector of the tech market is an impossible task. Not only does it move fast, but it can surprise you with every new twist and turn. Especially where its environmental viability is concerned.

Enter the president of El Salvador, a tiny Central American country with an area ever so slightly greater than that of Wales (but twice the population). It doesn’t trouble the pages of PC Gamer too often, but it has taken a very interesting position on cryptocurrencies: Rather than recoil from them in the manner of a cat discovering that the electric hob is, in fact, switched on, it has chosen to embrace the digital beer tokens with much enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm, and a volcano. Along with becoming the first country in the world to make bitcoin legal tender (El Salvador doesn’t have its own currency, instead using the US Dollar, which is interesting, but doesn’t involve volcanoes) the president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, also announced the creation of a plan to offer bitcoin mining facilities using renewable energy from the country’s volcanoes via state-owned energy firm LaGeo, neatly side-stepping the accusations that bitcoin mining is bad for the environment.

All of this was helped immensely by Bukele having as his Twitter profile picture at the time of the announcement a (we assume) doctored image portraying him with glowing blue eyes and looking rather like Nicholas Cage would if he played him in a blockbuster biopic with added lasers.

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