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Tether invests in $1 billion 'Volcano Energy' Bitcoin mining project

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(Kitco News) - Tether, the company responsible for minting USDT, the largest stablecoin by market cap in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, has announced that it took part in the first round of a new renewable energy initiative in El Salvador that is looking to invest $1 billion into building “Volcano Energy,” a 241 MW generation park in Metapán.

According to a press release shared with Kitco Crypto, the focus of Volcano Energy is to integrate solar and wind projects within the volcanic region in El Salvador to create one of the world’s largest Bitcoin mining farms.

El Salvador has the highest level of geothermal energy production in Central America. The project’s developers have selected a site in the El Chiste hamlet of the municipality of Metapán, Santa Ana, to construct the new mining farm, consisting of 169 MW of photovoltaic solar energy and 72 MW of wind energy.

The farm is expected to generate an initial computation power that surpasses 1.3 EH/s, where 1 EH/s is “equivalent to one quintillion hashes per second.”

“We are excited to be among the initial pioneers of renewable energy in El Salvador as an equity investor and advisor,” said Paolo Ardoino, Chief Technology Officer at Tether. “Volcano Energy represents one of the most ground-breaking and strategic initiatives we are investing in and we look forward to working alongside Josue Lopez and his team to make El Salvador a global force in renewable energy production. This investment continues Tether’s journey in diversifying its strategic ecosystem.”

The energy required to run the Bitcoin network has been a point of contention for over a decade as the energy intense mining process requires the same amount of electricity as some small countries, leading many to say the process is a waste of resources.

As a result of this criticism, miners have been making increased efforts in recent years to get their energy from renewable sources in order to make the process more efficient and acceptable in the eyes of the public. Renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectric power, also offer some of the lowest energy rates in the world, depending on location.

“Currently, more than 52% of Bitcoin mining is being done sustainably,” said Josue Lopez, CEO at Volcano Energy. “We believe this percentage will significantly increase in the coming years through important investments like ours. Not only is “Volcano Energy” important for the future of Bitcoin resiliency, it’s also an important sign of the new crucial role that El Salvador plays in the global tech environment.”

According to Tether, “The long-term sustainability of the Bitcoin network can only be achieved through energy innovation, competitiveness, diversification and geographic expansion. By investing in renewable energy resources around the world, Tether aims to become one of the leading providers and investors in global renewable energy and mining infrastructure.”

El Salvador crypto bill passes, enabling 'volcano bonds' and Bitcoin City

Companies around the globe have been exploring different options for Bitcoin mining as they seek the best possible rates for energy consumption. In January, Talen Energy subsidiary Cumulus Data announced that it had completed construction of the Cumulus Susquehanna data center in Pennsylvania to enable nuclear-powered Bitcoin mining and cloud computing services.

The 1200-acre campus is the first of its kind in the U.S. and is expected to generate 48-megawatt thanks to its direct connection to the 2.5-gigawatt Susquehanna nuclear power station in northeast Pennsylvania.

The search for low-cost energy for Bitcoin mining is only expected to rise from here as the network continues to get stronger by the week. Data from shows that on Thursday, Bitcoin’s mining difficulty level rose by 3.4% to hit a new all-time to go along with a new record high hashrate of 376 exahashes per second, showing that interest in Bitcoin mining continues to rise alongside the number of mining farms.

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