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El Salvador president reveals designs for volcanic ‘Bitcoin City’

El Salvador president Nayib Bukele is quite literally obsessed with cryptocurrency. This week, he caused big stir online with tweets showing intricate designs of a full blown Bitcoin city.

One does not merely dabble in cryptocurrency. Once you’re in these days, you’re all in.

El Salvador president Nayib Bukele is the prime example of this obsessive mentality, to the extent that he actually instated Bitcoin as legal tender within his home country last year.

Despite large scale protests and pressure to reverse the decision from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the 40-year-old continues to push the boundaries of what is possible with digital currency.

In-fact, this week Bukele unveiled easily his most ambitious crypto endeavour to date: an entire ‘Bitcoin City’ built on the Gulf of Fonseca and powered by geothermal energy from the nearby Conchagua volcano.

Leaving folk feeling sceptical, intrigued, and everything in-between, he took to Twitter to make the announcement.

Bukele shared four images of an intricate 3D model designed by revered Mexican architect Fernando Romero, accompanied by the caption: ‘Bitcoin City is coming along beautifully.’

The pictures show a glowing concentric city, clearly inspired by – you guessed it – the ubiquitous form of a Bitcoin, with all major pathways leading to a B symbol in the central plaza. Weirdly cult like, right?

The entire cityscape, which we can gladly confirm will not be gold like the mock-ups, will be visible from a circular halo-like walkway positioned at the top of the volcano. Anyone else thinking of Westworld?

Unsurprisingly, the bond that will reportedly pay for the entire project would come in the form of Bitcoin, while the city’s vast power needs would be provided by the volcano’s endless supply of geothermal energy.

El Salvador's president reveals design for volcanic Bitcoin City
Credit: Nayib Bukele

Placed in the Gulf of the Fonseca in the south-east, Bitcoin City is being peddled as an opportunity for economic growth and foreign investment.

There would be no property opportunities, income, or municipal taxes to speak of, but rather a business focused conurbation akin to that of Silicon Valley. Crucially, it plans to be a completely net zero ‘crypto utopia’ which would help to reverse the industry’s reputation as a big polluter.

No details on a planned timescale have been released yet, but judging by Bukele’s Twitter, Bitcoin City is something he is incredibly invested in making happen.

It’s somewhat ironic that Bukele has chosen the week that Bitcoin fell by roughly half its value to promote his magnum opus. His criticism is at its strongest now, but as the past has shown, he will likely press ahead regardless.


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