Why invest in Volcano Energy for Tether’s game plan in El Salvador?

The stablecoin issuer, Tether, has decided to invest in El Salvador’s renewable energy project with its funds to promote the adoption of Bitcoin (BTC) in the Central American country.

El Salvador’s renewable power generation project is set to receive investment from a handful of companies. Volcano Energy, for example, will use solar and wind energy to generate electricity in El Salvador for future Bitcoin mining activities in the country.

This renewable energy park, which is planned to generate 241 megawatts (MW), is the latest move in El Salvador’s effort to promote Bitcoin adoption after the country made BTC legal tender back in 2021.

Tether’s chief technology officer, Paolo Ardoino, attended the Money 20/20 event in Amsterdam, where Cointelegraph caught up with him. Ardoino spoke on several topics related to Tether, Bitfinex, and the wider cryptocurrency space while promoting Bitfinex Pay and the Lightning Network.

Just two days before the interview, Tether announced that it would be investing in Volcano Energy to gain exposure to energy production and leverage the facility to power Bitcoin mining farms in the future.

Ardoino believes that El Salvador is paving the way for sovereign Bitcoin adoption, despite the relatively slow uptake of BTC as a payment option in the country. He drew parallels to the European Union adopting the euro as a continental currency in the early 2000s, which required significant resources to change existing financial infrastructure, as well as buy-in from citizens of its 27 member states.

“Given all the powers that they had, it still took five, six years, and yet people were super confused.”

The use of Bitcoin as a payment method in El Salvador has had some issues, as explored by Cointelegraph journalist Joe Hall in a recent visit to the country where he used BTC as a primary means of payment.

Ardoino believes that the process of widespread BTC use and adoption in El Salvador will take time since citizens are not being forced to use the alternative currency in their everyday lives:

“It’s extremely unfair to expect that the whole population will use Bitcoin because, first of all, it’s not forced. Adoption is through private companies and public investments, rather than being taxpayer money.”

Tether’s investment in the country’s energy production program is part of a two-fold strategy. Firstly, investing in energy-producing infrastructure holds its own value, which can then be utilized to power Bitcoin mining operations.

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Ardoino also argued against the prevailing narratives around the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining and critiques of the industry for putting a strain on the global energy grid:

“Firstly, the majority of Bitcoin mining is already happening with renewable energy. Secondly, Bitcoin mining is mainly using excess energy anyway, but even more so if we first build the energy production.”

Tether’s investment, along with that of 12 other investors, aims to build an energy production facility that companies, factories, and households can also tap into. The excess energy from Volcano Energy will be used for BTC mining to help make El Salvador a “unicorn with its own unique story.”

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