Sat. Aug 13th, 2022

Former guerilla and Colombian economist, Gustavo Petro, was elected president of the country, beating his opponent who claimed ignorance of Bitcoin.

This is an opinion editorial by João, founder of Boletim Bitcoin, a Brazilian website focused on Bitcoin, and contributor at Bitcoin Magazine.

This story was originally published in Portuguese by

Interestingly, Petro is being billed by local media as the first left-wing president elected in the country, which has been ruled in recent years by supposedly centrist parties. This fact, in some ways, contrasts with the origin and libertarian ideas from which Bitcoin emerged — influenced by a strong community of cryptographers, mathematicians and libertarians.

When asked about Bitcoin, Petro’s rival candidate stated that he is unaware of the subject, and spoke about more regulations for the industry.

If Colombia integrates bitcoin under the government of Gustavo Petro, either through mining or making the cryptocurrency legal tender, it would be the third sovereign country in the world to follow this path, initiated by El Salvador and accompanied by the Central African Republic.

Importance Of Mining

Bitcoin mining is one of the most fundamental aspects of the protocol’s operation, being responsible for an important part of the network’s security. Through mining and the Nakamoto Consensus rules, the network agrees on the end state of transactions.

In recent years, dozens of major institutional players have started to integrate mining as a way to monetize idle and underutilized electricity, or energy sources that would otherwise be wasted. This is the case of a number of major oil companies, such as ExxonMobil, that are using flare gas — gas that would be burned into the atmosphere due to inherent issues in the sector — for bitcoin mining.

The government of El Salvador plans to use geothermal energy from its volcanoes to mine bitcoin, something that is set to become significant for the industry. Colombia entering into bitcoin mining would be exponentially bigger than the Salvadoran experiment, as the country has a gross domestic product of $271 billion, about 10 times that of El Salvador.

Colombia is ranked 11th in the global ranking of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency adoption in the 2021 Chainalysis report, behind Venezuela and Argentina in the region.

This is a guest post by João. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.