El Salvador’s president announced building of a “Bitcoin City” at the base of an active volcano. Following making bitcoin an official currency, the Central American nation decided as well to issue $1 billion in bitcoin-backed bonds in 2022, The Wall Street Journal says.
El Salvador’s leader Nayib Bukele said over the weekend that some bond money will go toward building a “Bitcoin City”. It will get its revenue from a value-added tax, and the city will have no income, property, or capital gains taxes.
“Invest here and earn all the money you want,” Bukele said to a group of cryptocurrency enthusiasts at the Latin American Bitcoin and Blockchain Conference in El Salvador on Saturday night.
Putting the city at the base of the Conchagua volcano was a conscious decision. Burkele said the city will also be emissions-free because it will get its power — notably for energy-intensive bitcoin mining — from the volcano’s geothermal activity. The government already has a bitcoin mining pilot program using geothermal power from the Tecapa volcano, The Associated Press reports. Monday’s Late Show joked the location could also be a trap to ensnare annoying cryptocurrency proselytizers.
Analysts say the bitcoin bonds are one mechanism Bukele is auditioning to replace IMF assistance. The U.S. also announced it is shifting its foreign aid to nongovernmental organizations in El Salvador in response to Bukele’s power consolidation.