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Colombia Could Use Waterfalls to Produce Bitcoin, Not Cocaine: Senator Petro

In brief A Colombian senator said that the country should look to El Salvador for inspiration. Gustavo Petro said that the South American country could use renewable energy to mine Bitcoin instead of making cocaine.

A high-profile Colombian politician has suggested the country look to El Salvador for inspiration and mine Bitcoin using renewable energy—instead of producing cocaine. 

Gustavo Petro, a leftist senator retweeted a story about El Salvador President Nayib Bukele announcing that the country had started mining Bitcoin using volcanic energy and commented: “What if the Pacific coast took advantage of the steep falls of the rivers of the western mountains to produce all the energy of the coast and replace cocaine with energy for cryptocurrencies?” 

President Bukele, who made Bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador last month, claims the Central American nation will mine Bitcoin using geothermal power from its volcanoes. 

¿Y que tal que el litoral pacífico aprovechara las caídas de alta pendiente de los rios de la cordillera occidental para producir toda la energía del litoral y reemplazar cocaína con la energía para las criptomonedas? La moneda virtual es pura información y por tanto energía. https://t.co/65xdN2whuO — Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) October 2, 2021

Bitcoin mining is the process of using powerful computers to verify transactions on the blockchain and produce the digital asset. It uses lots of energy, though, so mining companies are now looking for clean energy to produce the asset. 

Petro, a frontrunner for Colombia’s presidential election next year, added via Twitter that “virtual currency is pure information and therefore energy.”

It wasn’t clear what Petro meant but Latin America energy policy analyst Wesley Tomaselli told Decrypt that the senator was referring to the potential of Colombia’s Pacific coast to use renewable energy. 

“He's right in that Colombia has great potential for Bitc...

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