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El Salvador Mines 472 BTC, Total Holdings Surpass $360 Million

May 15, 2024

El Salvador has been successful in earning more than 470 BTC via mining rewards since 2021. The coins have been mined using geothermal energy from the Tecapa volcano. The Central American nation has 300 processors installed that aid the mining operations.

Source: National Bitcoin Office

Around 1.5 MW of the total 102 MW power produced from the state-owned power plant is earmarked for Bitcoin mining. El Salvador was the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender in 2021. Since then, the country has passed several pro-Bitcoin policies. In fact, the Salvadoran president Nayib Bukele placed his political fate on his nation-wide Bitcoin experiment. In February this year, he got re-elected, after winning by a substantial majority.  

During the initial stages, the government had shipped in an entire mining rig container to power the operations. Salvador’s energy factory is located in the midst of a forest, bordering the volcano. Interestingly, El Salvador is more commonly known as the “Land of Volcanoes,” and geothermal energy accounts for around a fourth of its domestic production.

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All the mined BTC has been getting piled up in the government treasury. The El Salvadoran government’s holdings currently stand around 5751 BTC [worth $360.7 million]. At the moment, 8 BTC are being added on a weekly basis, bringing the monthly add-on figure to 32 BTC.

While the crypto community has been in favor of Bukele and his policies favoring the advancement and adoption of Bitcoin, several global bodies - including the International Monetary Fund - have time and again been critical of the same, with several even suggesting the President to strip Bitcoin of its legal tender status.

Source: National Bitcoin Office

Leaving aside El Salvador, The State of Wisconsin Investment Board - the state agency that manages investments for public retirement and other trust funds - recently unveiled its Bitcoin-related exposure. The agency owns 2.45 million shares of BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust and 1.013 million shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust [GBTC].

Apart from governments, even publicly listed companies around the world have been adding Bitcoin on their balance sheets. Japan’s Metaplanet, for instance, recently loaded up $1.2 million worth of Bitcoin, while Swiss Bank UBS holds 3600 shares in BlackRock’s Bitcoin ETF.  

In other Bitcoin mining-related news, the latest adjustment re-set the difficulty to 83.15 trillion. This marked the steepest drop in over 18 months.

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