Micène Fontaine, November 9, 2021

What does a digital currency have to do with mining and volcanoes? I couldn’t think of a link between Bitcoins and the Pacific Ring of Fire. In my mind, there was none. With a vague understanding of how cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and volcanoes work, I started reading the NPR article titled “El Salvador Plans To Use Electricity Generated From Volcanoes To Mine Bitcoin.I was reminded that “it requires massive amounts of electricity to power the computers that generate the invisible currency.” To solve this, in June 2021, El Salvador’s President advocated for the use of geothermal energy “for #Bitcoin mining with very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable, 0 emissions energy from our volcanos.”

To me, this was the ultimate - and potentially most absurd - example of the interconnectedness of it all. We’ve all heard about the butterfly effect, ecosystems, systems thinking, design thinking, etc. Whatever you call it, it roughly boils down to a simple fact: It’s all systemic. Everything is connected: The built environment, all life forms (including ours), the natural environment here on earth, the sun that keeps it all going, and - apparently - the metaverse as well…

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