The President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, has invited bitcoin miners to take advantage of new facilities to be set up at a state-owned geothermal, electric company specifically for the industry.
“Our engineers just informed me that they dug a new well, that will provide approximately 95 [megawatts] of 100% clean, 0 emissions geothermal energy from our volcanos,” Bukele shared on Twitter. “Starting to design a full Bitcoin mining hub around it.”
The idea to use El Salvador’s volcanoes as a power source for Bitcoin mining apparently arose in a Twitter Spaces chat room hosted by Coin Metrics cofounder Nic Carter. The chat room held conversations around Bitcoin, mining, and how the largest cryptocurrency has a high penetration in developing countries, as Carter said in an interview.
Bukele’s moves might present opportunities for the Bitcoin mining industry at a particularly good time. Chinese miners, for instance, are experiencing a strong state crackdown on the sector, and might be encouraged to take advantage of El Salvador’s cheap and clean geothermal energy and relocate their rigs to Central America. Bitcoin mining acts as a purely free market and the geographic location of miners is determined in a game-theoretic way — while one country may ban it, another can always welcome it.
As Bitcoin 2021 wraps up, the announcement by Jack Mallers that El Salvador intends to adopt bitcoin as legal tender still resonates. Historical in scope, the announcement also comes with acknowledgements of the bitcoin community from the country’s president. One form of this acknowledgement is the donning of laser eyes, a meme created with my best friends. I believe this would be a good time to take a look at the origins of laser eyes, #LaserRayUntil100K and what led to the meme.
It all began when I was a Bitcoin Pleb with less than 300 followers. In April 2020, I found Bitcoin Twitter and joined the Pleb Army. I myself am Bitcoin Class of 2018, but I didn’t know that Bitcoin Twitter even existed at that time, let alone that it is populated with so many amazing people. The first account that I fell in love with on Twitter was American HODL. A toxic Bitcoin maximalist who would call out bullshit and scams, would have extremely insightful perspectives and, most importantly, he’d tweet perfect shitposts. A shitpost defined by Urban Dictionary is “any content on the internet whose humor derives from its surreal nature and/or lack of clear context. A meme’s humor comes from its repeatability, a shitpost is funny simply because it isn’t a predictable repetition of an existing form.” So, basically saying random shit to be funny and to encourage engagement from your community and/or haters. It felt like American HODL was absolutely the king shitposter on Bitcoin Twitter and I loved him for it.
One morning, a Bitcoin hater was commenting on a post by American HODL bashing his tweet. I decided to make a meme with the most basic of tools: the default Android photo editor application. I downloaded the appropriate image, created the meme and posted it under the nonbeliever’s comment. Before I knew it, I had a retweet by the AMERICAN HODL. Me, a Pleb, with maybe 30 followers was ecstatic. I now had a new mission: to meme.
I had always been the class clown, the jokester and always great with the quips. I also had a love for photo editing and drawing. With these talents and interests combined, I had found my new calling. I would become a part of the Bitcoin meme army. At this time, I was uncertain that a Bitcoin meme army even existed. This just so happens to be the time that two other memers came to my attention, Gregzaj1and Labra HODL. I had also been found by a legend by the name of RD_btc around this time who brought me into a meme group on Instagram. Greg and Labra quickly became my best friends on Bitcoin Twitter and we constantly challenged each other.
As months went on, we grew tighter while our group of memers grew larger. The Meme Factory(tm) was born. We didn’t have any agenda or goals other than to have fun, build each other up and help fine tune each other’s memes when requested. We all had our own styles and methods and absolutely complemented each other. We became a team of cyber hornets that attacked with imagery, humor and creativity. We uplifted the spirits in a bear market by poking fun at ourselves, shitcoiners and especially ridiculous no-coiners. We had inherited a mission to bond the community with memes!
On a smaller scale at the time, I enjoyed bonding the community with common avatars. I first did this in late November 2020. I started a campaign to create Christmas avatars for everyone in Bitcoin Twitter who would like one. I was soon overwhelmed, but I managed to create no less than 1,000 Christmas avatars for my fellow Bitcoin maximalists. Not only were we festive, we had a bond among our avatars, and it felt great to appear almost uniformed and separate from other subcultures.
This occurred again for New Years as I created avatars with fireworks and again when I assisted Yellow (ICOffender) on putting Hodlonaut helmets on Plebs who wanted to show support for the cat against the fraudster CSW.
This is the short backstory that led to what was to come.
Now let me take you to early February 2021. The price of Bitcoin is hovering around $42,000. The Meme Factory(tm) is doing what we do best, meme’n Bitcoin into the next world reserve currency. It’s at this time that Pedro requests that someone help him with a meme. He wanted laser eyes put onto a kangaroo to give his meme a little extra juice.
I gave Pedro’s meme some basic lasers… and then had an idea hit me like a bolt of lightning. I then proceeded to put laser eyes on everyone in The Meme Factory’s(tm) avatar. Well, not RD, he got derpy googly eyes. I posted all the laser eye photos to the boys and I said “When the day comes that we have to go to aggressive offensive meme warfare… We enact laser eyes!” We collectively decided that it would be awesome to rock the new avatars ASAP. I then voiced my thoughts to the crew “Trying to decide how we could kick off the laser eye campaign. #LaserRayUntil100K?”
This was the first time this hashtag had been shared. The meme-tards were onboard. Plan Marcus then suggested once the price hits $50,000 we start the campaign. The team was ready and the plan was set. We started the preparation by creating our memes beforehand and waited for the price to touch the $50K starting line. I reached out to one person that wasn’t part of The Meme Factory(tm), the one and only American HODL. I told him the plan and he responded with “I’m in!” The foundation was set.
February 16, 2021, the campaign officially began. The Meme Factory(tm) came out in full force. Within 72 hours, members of congress, celebrities and the vast majority of Plebs had donned Laser Eyes, while receiving prime time coverage from national mainstream media.
So, what happens after a $100,000 USD Bitcoin? Well … #LaserEyesUntilFiatDies, of course.
This Week In Bitcoin is a new segment covering the events of the week that occurred in the Bitcoin industry, covering all the important news and analysis.
Although bitcoin saw relatively steady gains over the last week, climbing to nearly $40,000, it was only a matter of time before Elon Musk started his fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) campaign again, tweeting a breakup meme alongside the Bitcoin hashtag early Friday morning, which sent the bitcoin price tumbling as much as 7%. Of course, this was to be expected since Musk cannot seem to resist spreading FUD, as he previously had with Tesla stock before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) came knocking.
As the market geared up for Bitcoin 2021 in Miami this weekend, it seemed like there would be few developments during the week outside of the announcements at this conference. Indeed, El Salvador’s president announced that he will introduce a bill that would implement bitcoin as legal tender, becoming the first to do so and paving the way for others to follow. While this was major news coming from the conference, there was further news outside of Bitcoin 2021: Google lifted its 2018 ban on cryptocurrency advertisements on its network; the Finance Minister of Norway suggested an imminent breakout for bitcoin; Coinbase integrated its debit card with Apple and Google’s mobile wallets allowing payments with bitcoin; and Paxful launched Paxful Pay, allowing merchants to accept bitcoin as a payment method.
Chart Of The Week
Bitcoin has been gearing up for a breakout this week, nearing $40,000 before Musk decided to rain on the parade. Along with the continuous FUD, the current dip is nothing new if you’re familiar with bitcoin’s movement over the last decade. The chart above, courtesy of Bloqport, analyses the 2017 bull run, and clearly shows there were several sizable dips on the run up to $20,000.. The current bull run is no different and although there are more eyes and hands on Bitcoin this time around, there is no reason not to expect a breakout soon.
Bullish: Short Term
As I mentioned last week, the current bull run is far from over, and experts such as Cathie Wood agree. More and more people are suggesting a price breakout is imminent, so why should we even consider that not to be the case?
El Salvador’s decision to”‘legalize” bitcoin and make it legal tender in the country is incredibly bullish. As the first country to do so, El Salvador will not only act as a “guinea pig”, but will also pave the way for other countries to follow. In all likelihood, emerging markets will be the first to follow suit, especially those utilizing the US dollar as their reserve currency. The United States’ move to issue more bonds and print more money will have an impact on the dollar’s value, affecting those most dependent on it. El Salvador may be the first of many countries to embrace bitcoin.
Google’s lifting of the ban on cryptocurrency ads will have a major impact on the market over the coming months as it will be easier to gather impressions on Bitcoin content. Similarly, as Coinbase, Paxful and others follow PayPal in enabling payment for goods and services using bitcoin, it’s likely to see adoption grow, even if most die-hard bitcoin users would suggest HODLing. The naysayers who have spent years saying bitcoin doesn’t qualify as a currency because you can’t spend it anywhere will go quiet, much like they do when price quickly ascends.
Institutional investors are seeing an increase in interest in assets such as bitcoin, with Standard Chartered and Guggenheim Investments both looking toward introducing funds with bitcoin exposure. Then there’s the Taproot upgrade that appears to be a done deal for the Bitcoin network as more and more miners signal their support. Taproot will bring more privacy, lower transaction fees and more flexibility around smart contracts on the Bitcoin network.
Bullish: Long Term
I am revising my long term outlook from last week to bullish. Although this bull run will eventually peak and see a sizable correction in the near future, there is increasing hope for bitcoin in the long term.
Besides miners moving to “greener” equipment and sources of electricity, states like Texas and countries like El Salvador’s favorable embrace of bitcoin is likely to generate more sovereign entities to follow suit. Companies moving to accept bitcoin will not only benefit consumers and merchants alike but the market as well, despite its volatility.
As the legal framework starts to form around the world for bitcoin, we’re likely to see more investors join the fray. Whether Bitcoiners like it or not, increasing amounts of institutional investors investing in bitcoin is likely to bring more individual investors, as the former brings more security and trust to the community for the latter.
Saying things like “look at the bigger picture” or “every cloud has a silver lining” may seem cliché, but it’s true when approaching the current state of the market. Yes, it would be great to see a breakout and bitcoin surging past $65,000 in the next week or two, but it’s important to take a step back and look at what’s to come.
Bitcoin’s performance may not appear too favorable with the dips and sideways movement over the last few weeks, but it has remained relatively steady. I am sure the news and events from the past week have not been priced in, though whether that’s due to newcomers selling off in a panic or whales suppressing the price is unclear. What is clear is that Bitcoin is seeing a favourable reaction from the world. Countries are opening up to the idea of Bitcoin and large companies are jumping onboard.
Yes, Bitcoin still has a long way to go in terms of mass adoption, but it’s easy to forget that it’s market cap is in the hundreds of billions of dollars. The world’s leading investors and companies either hold it on their balance sheets or are considering doing so. One thing is for certain: Bitcoin has already made its mark and it is here to stay. No amount of FUD, misinformation or “expertise” can deny that.
Overall, the short term looks bright and, to use a phrase I read on Twitter,let’s shake out the “mayo hands” and get bitcoin to the moon.
This is a guest post by Dion Guillaume. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.
El Salvador bitcoin plans would make it legal tender in the country. That’s the prospect held out by President Nayib Bukele who says he is sending legislation to the small central American country’s parliament to that effect.
If approved, which is thought to be likely, it will be a world first and Salvadoreans will be able to use bitcoin alongside the US dollar which currently acts as the country’s currency.
“In the short term, this will generate jobs and help provide financial inclusion to thousands outside the formal economy,” Mr Bukele told the conference attendees.
The president expects the country to play a major part in transforming the economy of the country because of the way in which it will make remittance inflows into the economy more efficient and much cheaper – a benefit to both individuals and the commerce more widely.
It is estimated that around two million Salvadorans reside outside the country and remittances make up 20% f the country’s GDP. Those remittance inflows amount to about $4 billion a year and is currently dominated by US money transfer firms such as Western Union.
Jack Mallers, founder of the Strike crypto payments platform based on the Lightning Network 2nd layer, was suitably impressed by the announcement from President Nayib, if not ecstatic, saying it was a “shot heard ’round the world for bitcoin”.
El Salvador bitcoin plans: Huge step forward for BTC payments
Although El Salvador is a tiny country with an inconsequential economy in terms of size on the world stage, the move is nevertheless significant in bolstering bitcoin’s case as a form of private money with real-world payment uses beyond the speculation that dominates presently.
The move could also turn El Salvador into the bitcoin capital of the world, at least in the sense of companies setting up corporate HQs there, if not shipping out their staff to central America. Via El Salvador crypto firms would be able to get easy access to the dollar banking system in the country.
For the citizens of the country the adoption of bitcoin could be even more profound given that 80% of the country’s citizens do not have a bank account – bitcoin gives them a route into the formal economy.
Inflation worries are also thought to be behind the bill being put to the country’s Congress as early as next week, if this alleged excerpt is anything to go by:
“In order to mitigate the negative impact from central banks, it becomes necessary to authorize the circulation of a digital currency with a supply that cannot be controlled by any central bank and is only altered in accord with objective and calclable criteria.”
El Salvador bitcoin capital of the world?
In order to successfully effect the change, El Salvador will need to do a fair bit of work to overhaul its current fiat system to make it digitally friendly in terms of interoperability with the bitcoin payments system.
The price of bitcoin has started to rise, perhaps as a result of this news. There are many other countries with unbanked citizens and/or with currencies that are weak, with Nigeria perhaps the largest. Such countries will be watching closely how things work out in El Salvador, and sow will everyone with a stake in the crypto ecosystem.
#Bitcoin has a market cap of $680 billion dollars.
If 1% of it is invested in El Salvador, that would increase our GDP by 25%.
On the other side, #Bitcoin will have 10 million potential new users and the fastest growing way to transfer 6 billion dollars a year in remittances.
In a recorded announcement played today at the Bitcoin 2021 conference, the president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, announced that the country’s government would declare bitcoin as legal tender.
“Next week I will send to congress a bill that will make bitcoin a legal tender,” he said.
The presentation was hosted by Jack Mallers, founder of Lightning Network payments platform Strike, who has been working with Bukele to determine the logistics of this historic move.
“Over 70% of the active population of El Salvador doesn’t have a bank account. They’re not in the financial system,” Mallers said. “They asked me to help write a plan and that they viewed bitcoin as a world-class currency and that we needed to put together a Bitcoin plan to help these people.”
In declaring bitcoin legal tender, El Salvador has become the first country to onboard to a non-fiat currency. Because bitcoin is issued programmatically and does not fall under the control of any third party or central bank, El Salvador is now uniquely positioned to take advantage of Bitcoin’s unique properties, particularly as a store of value that is provably scarce and natively digital.
According to Mallers, the country is now working with Bitcoin businesses and platforms to determine logistical solutions for the move.
Mallers said he would provide an open-source guide to the process called Bitcoin For Countries.