Prominent El Salvador Ecologist Ricardo Navarro Pumps The Brakes On President Bukele’s Volcano Powered Bitcoin City

Ricardo Navarro, one of El Salvador’s leading ecologists, has dire warnings for President Nayib Bukele’s plan to tap into geothermal energy to power Bitcoin mining operations saying the plan will “end in environmental disaster.”

By Andrew Senior
December 6th, 2021

Navarro’s argument centers on the fact that the infrastructure needed to properly integrate geothermal energy is very expensive saying, 

“Geothermal still costs more than oil, otherwise we would already be using more of it. What will end up happening is that we will just be buying more oil.”

During an event in June centered around promoting Bitcoin, Bukele released his plans to mine Bitcoin with energy generated from volcanoes located in the country. He followed up by releasing a video in September of the initial phase of construction of the volcano-powered bitcoin mining facility.

The Salvadorian ecologist was critical of the very idea of developing a ‘Bitcoin City’ next to a volcano saying,

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

During an interview on November 10th, Navarro wrote off the very idea of a volcano-powered bitcoin mining facility as he foresees the facility requiring more energy resources than just geothermal power can provide,

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

Navarro also believes that the rush to adopt Bitcoin happened without adequate discussion or debate and is dubious of his country’s economic plans,

“If you have something good to promote, you propose it, you discuss it, and then you put your arguments. But that was not the case with bitcoin.”

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