"Talking about building this city beside a volcano is like thinking you are rich because you live next to a bank," one prominent Salvadoran environmentalist says.
A prominent environmentalist has cast doubt on El Salvador's plans to build Bitcoin City.
The crypto-themed metropolis — which would be based at the bottom of a volcano — was unveiled by President Nayib Bukele last month.
In an interview with the newspaper, he argued that Bukele should first focus on ensuring that the country's six million people have a dependable source of electricity.
Although enthusiastic about the potential of geothermal energy, which is set to play a crucial role in Bitcoin City, Navarro warned:
"Talking about building this city beside a volcano is like thinking you are rich because you live next to a bank. Geothermal energy doesn’t need volcanoes. It needs groundwater, steam. But we already have problems with not enough water in El Salvador."
A Long Wait?
Beyond the feasibility of using geothermal energy to power an entire city, there are also question marks about how quickly Bitcoin City can actually be built.
But some asset managers have questioned whether or not the country will manage to raise all of the funds they're hoping for — and there are also concerns that the move could prevent El Salvador from receiving financial support from the International Monetary Fund in the future.
To make matters worse, relations between the U.S. and El Salvador are also struggling — with American officials claiming that the country "is not giving a signal that it has an interest in our relationship."