The president of El Salvador says the country is exploring using geothermal energy from volcanoes to mine bitcoin following its decision to make the cryptocurrency legal tender

El Salvador bitcoin
A bitcoin sign in El Salvador.

El Salvador’s president Nayim Bukele took to Twitter on Wednesday for yet another big bitcoin announcement.

This time, Bukele said that he has instructed the president of the country’s state-owned geothermal electric company, LaGeo SA de CV, to “put up a plan to offer facilities for #Bitcoin mining with very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable, 0 emissions energy from our volcanos.”

The move comes after the country passed a law to make bitcoin legal tender on Wednesday via a supermajority (62 votes out of 84 possible).

Bitcoin’s price rose roughly 10% on Wednesday to trade around $36,000 per coin after the bullish news broke.

Bitcoin mining’s energy-intensive nature has led critics to question its environmental impact over the past few years.

According to data from Cambridge, the bitcoin network’s total energy consumption represents about 0.53% of total global energy consumption, and more than 85% of the energy consumed is used in the mining process.

Critics have argued bitcoin mining could exacerbate climate change, while others, including Cathie Wood of ARK Invest, have said that bitcoin’s power use will only help boost the adoption of renewable mining and solar power.

In other crypto news, Coindesk reported Chinese consumers are currently unable to search for popular cryptocurrency exchanges including Binance, OKEx, and Huobi on popular Chinese search engines in a sign of potential censorship.

China has been cracking down on cryptocurrency mining for some time, even going so far as to block the social media accounts of prominent crypto influencers over the weekend.

Last month, crypto miners were forced to halt operations in China after the country implemented tighter regulations. Chinese government officials have previously stated they would target the crypto industry to try to reach net-zero emissions by 2060.

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The biggest volcano eruptions in recorded history

  • The Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) ranks volcano eruptions by size and power.
  • The scale goes from VEI-0 to VEI-8 and measures ash, lava, and rock ejected.
  • VEI-1 is a gentle eruption that can happen frequently. Italy’s Mt. Stromboli has been erupting almost continuously for 2,000 years.
  • VEI-6s are colossal eruptions every 100 years. The 1883 explosion of Krakatoa was the most famous of these.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories. 

Following is a transcript of the video.

Earth has had a dramatic history, filled with its share of angry outbursts. Here’s how the largest volcanic eruptions measure up.

The Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) ranks eruptions by size and power. The scale goes from VEI-0 to VEI-8. It measures ash, lava, and rock ejected.

VEI-0 are usually a steady trickle of lava instead of an explosion. An example is the Hawaiian volcano of Kīlauea.

Next is VEI-1, a gentle eruption that can happen frequently. Italy’s Mt. Stromboli has been erupting almost continuously for 2,000 years.

VEI-2s consist of several mild explosions a month. Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung has been erupting since 2013.

VEI-3 are catastrophic eruptions that happen every few months. Lassen Peak in Northern California had a VEI-3 in 1915.

VEI-4s happen about every other year. In 2010, Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull grounded thousands of flights.

At VEI-5 things start getting more dramatic. Both Mt. Vesuvius (79 AD) and Mt. St. Helens (1980) were VEI-5s.

VEI-6s are colossal eruptions every 100 years. The 1883 explosion of Krakatoa was the most famous of these.

VEI-7 eruptions occur every 1,000 years. The most recent was Indonesia’s Mt. Tambora in 1815.

VEI-8 is a devastating explosive eruption every 50,000 years. The Yellowstone Caldera would reach this level if it were to erupt.

Let’s all just keep our cool.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published on November 1, 2017.

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Tens of thousands of people living in the Caribbean are on high alert as volcanoes come back to life after remaining dormant for decades

La Soufrière
La Soufrière volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines pictured on December 31, 2020.

  • Residents of St. Vincent and the Grenadines have been told to be ready to evacuate after a volcano started spewing lava, ash, and gas.
  • La Soufrière is the highest point in St. Vincent and is located near the northern tip of the country but has remained dormant for decades before it suddenly became active on Tuesday, AP reported.
  • The government of the country, which consists of a chain of islands where over 100,000 people live, issued an orange alert, meaning eruptions could occur with less than 24 hours’ notice.
  • Last month authorities from the nearby Caribbean island of Martinique issued a yellow alert due to seismic activity under Mount Pelée, the Independent reported.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Residents of St. Vincent and the Grenadines have been told to remain alert a Caribbean volcano came back to life.

La Soufrière is the highest point in St. Vincent and is located near the northern tip of the country but remained dormant for decades before beginning to spew ash on Tuesday this week, AP reported.

La Soufrière, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Map
La Soufrière, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, are in the Windward Islands, close to Barbados and St Lucia.

Steam, gas, and a volcanic dome formed by lava that reached the earth’s surface could also be seen above the volcano, according to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).

The country’s government, which consists of a chain of islands home to more than 100,000, raised the alert level to orange, meaning that eruptions could occur with less than 24 hours’ notice. 

La Soufrière last erupted in 1979 but did not cause any harm due to warning, while a 1902 eruption led to 1,600 deaths.

In an unrelated incident early last month, authorities from the nearby Caribbean island of Martinique issued a yellow alert due to seismic activity under Mount Pelée, the Independent reported.

Fabrice Fontaine from the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Martinique told AP that it is the first time an alert of its kind has been issued since the volcano last erupted in 1932.

Mount Pelée also erupted in 1902 and killed almost 30,000 people, making it the deadliest eruption in the whole of the 20th century.

In December, Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted for the first time since 2018 and created a 600ft deep lava lake, according to NPR.

However, the most active volcanoes in the Americas have been the Soufrière Hills in Montserrat, which have erupted continuously since 1995 and killed at least 19 people in 1997, Erik Klemetti, a volcanologist from Denison University, Ohio, told AP.

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