Crypto-coin is great!
... if you're a crypto-coin thief.
That's the only ones I see making real money from it these days.
A White House report on the energy costs of cryptocurrency mining in the US is recommending swift policy actions to avoid disrupting the country's efforts to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. The report [PDF] from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), crypto asset mining in the US uses the same amount …
Which is to say it's fairly irrelevant to compare power usage for bitcoin to residential lighting. They have noting to do with each other, and its been quite a while since home mining bitcoin was a thing. That and most residential lighting has shifted to high efficiency technologies.
Bitcoin is likely going to be one of the only players on the proof of work side if Ether successfully pivots. The also go out of their way to highlight off chain transactions in exchanges as a dangerous unknown, when they are simple accounting transactions and use less crypto and power than a proof of stake transaction that they themselves indicate use a fraction of the power a bitcoin transaction does.
While power saving wherever we can is important, I'd rather they start with dirty and inefficient ones like rail traffic, shipping and trucking, industrial processes and other problems that are the other 99% of energy used. Proof of work is already here, and SOL and Avalanche and whatever comes next will tear down Ether quickly and bitcoin over time regardless of government action. Bitcoin will probably start pushing majority traffic off the blockchain to cut costs, at the risk of handing the least trustworthy pert of the ecosystem complete control of the transaction.
It is also likely that many of the early generation blockchains will enter the final winter during the climate crisis years, and would have even if global warming wasn't a crisis, just due to the pressure of newer and more capable crypto networks enabling an ecosystem that exists for more then mere speculation. That's never going to be Bitcoin, so it's future is by no means guaranteed, and the value and difficulty will fall accordingly. Regulators may still be shooting themselves in the foot trying to regulate it at that point.
I'd rather they start with dirty and inefficient ones like rail traffic, shipping and trucking, industrial processes and other problems that are the other 99% of energy used.
You mean the ones that actually deliver food to the shops and goods to industry?
Other than Ponzi-scheme funding, what do cryptocurrencies deliver that others don't?
Don't confuse the ponzi tokens based on Ethereum contracts with cryptocurrency. It's like comparing a valuable commodity to nectar points.
The main problem with cryptocurrency is that your average Joe can't tell the difference between a true cryptocurrency and a token that exists as part of a smart contract on top of a blockchain.
Tokens are, were and always will be bollocks. Actual cryptocurrency, not so much. There is a bullshit bingo card for "crypto" that everyone should have stuck to their monitors:
Global Speaking Tour
16% a year!
I'd rather they start with dirty and inefficient ones like rail traffic, shipping and trucking, industrial processes and other problems that are the other 99% of energy used
As already said, this is so utterly ridiculous that you must have quite some money in cryptomining to be able to say it without gagging.
Cryptomining is pure waste, it's like a broken pipe spewing water out to disappear in the dirt. And here is somebody who comes along and says, without blushing, that "instead of mending that broken pipe and stop losing all that water, we should rather review the water consumption of clothes and dish washing machines" (understood, "while that broken pipe keeps watering my garden for free").
Both approaches are wrong. There's no time to address the issue piecemeal. Every Joule used is the Earth being destroyed, all must be accounted for and authorised as appropriate by a higher minded authority. We need only apply a simple test: will each unit of energy be used in a way that's absolutely necessary to keep an individual alive, will it contribute to the greater good or will it be wasted for selfish reasons? If it's the last, it must be saved and given to someone else at a later date.
> one concerned with what's best for The People, rather than selling to the highest bidder
You still believe in Santa, don't you.
Or you have more dark intentions, for "groups with strong will who will save people from themselves" usually spell "ruthless bullies with a 100% egoistic agenda": Remember, the Inquisition tried to save people from themselves, as have done, and still do, all dictators throughout the ages.
To cut this short, I do not welcome our new god-like overlords choosing what they think would be best for me. I'd rather stick with our current shitty politicians-for-vote, which can at least be gotten rid of when they overdo it. If I start longing for a shitty all-knowing dictator-for-life I'll emigrate to North Korea.
I understand and would agree with your sentiment in less dangerous times. Unfortunately, The People can't be trusted to consistently vote in their own interests. It's very rare for truly society changing decisions to be approved by politicians who are constantly seeking reelection.
For example, the upcoming IC vehicle bans have probably only gotten as far as they have because the majority of voters don't understand how much the majority will have their lives changed in order to save the planet; it's essentially the end of the working (and some of the middle) classes owning personal transportation. They're also in the future so there's nothing to prevent these decisions from being reversed.
Cryptocurrency is a low hanging fruit but it alone doesn't address the issue that people feel generally entitled to use as much energy as they can buy, as they see fit. However, it can be used as a convenient justification to bring in larger changes that will save us all, helped along by those who have all their attention focused on just miners. There would still be choices but, for example, it might be between buying a powerful computer you can only use for an hour a day or a more efficient one that you're allowed to use all afternoon. Equally, you could choose to have a longer shower or you could choose to heat your home to a higher temperature.
People can't be trusted to consistently vote in their own interests.
Ah. That is the telltale cry of dictators everywhere.
While it is true, it is irrelevant. Ultimately, if we the people decide to vote ourselves into annihilation that is fine. The universe will go on without us ants on this planet and it is likely that eventually a people will arise who do not vote themselves into annihilation.
Meanwhile, we the people here can make our own decisions, thanks.
People can't be trusted to consistently vote in their best interests.
I call this the "thick voter" problem. Unsophisticated people can be persuaded to support views against their own interests, by clever demagogues. In the 19th century, John Stuart Mill proposed education as the solution, but maybe went too far by suggesting that potential voters would have to pass some sort of competency exam before they were allowed to vote. Bear in mind that when Mill was writing, only male property owners could vote, which was of course a totally unfair criterion, leading to severe lack of representation of large sections of the population
> The People can't be trusted
While this tends to be true, the conclusion is the dis-enfranchisement of people, which means they become cattle in the hands of a happy minority. Minority which will act just as selfishly and stupidly as the masses since they are "people" too. Aren't they...
Now they may pretend to be "better" and "more something or other", but they are just self-righteous entitled jerks clawing for more power and wealth at the expense of everyone else. Fine if you're one of them, definitely bad if you're among the masses they try to subdue, rob and control.
The real question is, do you want a lot of idiots with limited powers, or a few idiots with absolute power? I'll take the former any day, we all know what the latter will do. History is free to browse and learn from.
Rubbish. We are smooth brained chimps...our problem isn't energy scarcity...because it isn't scarce...everything in the universe contains energy...the problem is we haven't worked out how to efficiently store it yet because we're still dumb apes.
Don't ever buy into "energy shortage" bullshit. It's artificial and has absolutely nothing to do with the amount of energy available, it is literally everything to do with "the amount of energy we know how to make".
We're still in the "burn shit to make steam to turn the thing" age. We're slowly moving into "put the thing in the wind or moving water to turn the thing stage". After that we're in the "fuse the things to turn the thing" stage. At that stage, there are no energy shortages...ever.
We may even move into the "put flat stuff in the desert and hook them up to batteries stage" if we can just finally get graphite batteries sorted...what the fuck is taking them so long?
I mean shit, there is a firm in the US that has worked out how to make AA batteries from nuclear waste.
Imagine being able to power your Game Boy for generations? Energy is not scarce. It's just being controlled by people who want you to think it is scarce.
There is a reason why chemists distinguish energy from free energy: Just because energy exists doesn't mean that it can be usefully employed.
So while your statement that "energy isn't scarce" is true, it is also totally meaningless. Usable, clean energy is very scarce. So scarce, that we continue to burn fossil fuels for the majority of our energy needs. So scarce, that we cut down forests for wood pellets. So scarce, that the gasoline price may decide the election outcome in our largest democracies.
The scarcity of clean energy may come to define this century. Already, we saw energy-intense and dirty industry migrate to poorer and less-democratic places -- fundamentally reshaping the development of our world. These forces won't diminish and will define the conflicts of this century. Oil and gas in the black sea may well have tipped the scales for the Ukraine war.
The whole point of Bitcoin is it cost you something to make it. Unlike the paper dollars.
If you want a true comparison, you will need to add all the infrastructure, buildings, Datacenters and Telcom requires to process one card or check transaction from one bank account to another. I have no doubt bitcoin is cheaper in that respect, but it does not scale well and in its current form will never replace our current system.
What should concern everyone is to battle inflation the US is wrecking the economy instead of making the one thing we all use - energy - cheaper which would stabilize inflation. We need to be strong to be able to move to low carbon solutions not starving and out of work.
You don’t seem to have a clue about infrastructure…. Back in the 90’s a National Bank could run all their core systems in a single IBM/390 Mainframe , do you really think that lots of lots GPU’s running in the back your house is more efficient than a Data Centre?
The whole of the blockchain is not efficient, slow a best of times, honestly have a look on how the whole thing works.
Actually I do. I worked and built the infrastructure for 20 years in banking. Specifically the card systems.
Let’s start with the receiving bank with all the buildings and power for them, employees, and what it requires for them to get to work. Next is the network infrastructure owned by say ,MasterCard, and the buildings and all those employees. Then finally the bank with the account the money comes from and all it takes. And don’t forget the bloated federal wing of money stuff.
Bitcoin cuts thru all of that, seller / buyer / network.
Bitcoins that I mined uses ASIC not GPU, that is ETH. Is it wasteful? Heck yes. That is the point. It cost to create it, so it has value. The dollar requires a lot less and you and I have no control over how much is created.
If someone has a better idea how to trade now is the time to speak up. I had 30% of my on hand cash value taken from me in the last calendar year, just like everyone else.
Bitcoins that I mined uses ASIC not GPU, that is ETH. Is it wasteful? Heck yes. That is the point. It cost to create it, so it has value
Not to me it doesn't. It only has value if someong else thinks it does, and I'd seriously question their judgement and perception of value.
Upvote from me as well because you put the time and effort to let us know your take on it and your time has value to me. Bitcoin and others are the same as the dollar. If you can’t buy anything with it, then it is worthless.
Our time is all we have. Make it worthwhile to your self and hopefully any extra will have worth in trade for something you value. What I hate is the loss of my value (time) by all the middleman in the transaction taking a cut without adding value.
There is no way that it's costing about 1% of global energy usage to produce and support the infrastructure for credit card (and other bank transfer) processing. Even with all those buildings and people involved, it's still a fraction of the energy used by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies.
Most crypto coins need to die, Bitcoin in particular needs to be hung, drawn and quartered post haste.
“ While power saving wherever we can is important, I'd rather they start with dirty and inefficient ones like rail traffic, shipping and trucking, industrial processes and other problems that are the other 99% of energy used”
Much electricity is generated in a dirty way. You missed the bit about CO2?
Specifically, those 'flagship' ones that can now suck down over a kW on their own. They're the ones that miners are using and no one needs to play games at 4k with raytracing. Entire consoles consume less and can be hard locked to limit gaming to a socially and environmentally responsible number of hours per week. If there's more than one person gaming, the time can be limited to each account, linked to government ID, which would also help end hate speech in online gaming. California is already making inroads on the first part; limiting the sale of power slurping computers to businesses.
@ "Ban GPUs" AC: You've just demonized all high-power GPU users while boosting the agendas of all the command-and-control-mentality, we-must-track-everyone-"for-the-public-good" (and to line our pockets by selling that data) jerks. You'd fit in well with the current government of the Peoples' Republic of China.
You could be "environmentally and socially responsible" by refusing to take airline flights (ship travel is more energy-efficient), by refusing buy or use automobiles, trucks, and SUVs (buses and bicycles are more energy-efficient), by refusing to buy or use smartphones and big-screen TVs (which contribute to the social and economic evils of the fad-driven, "landfill economy"), and by buying and using no computer more-powerful than a Sinclair ZX-80. After all, the ZX-80 can easily do your bookkeeping and taxes. But you probably won't do the things I've suggested, because that would inconvenience you.
Cryptocoin mining is a horrible waste of energy, but banning or limiting high-end GPUs won't stop it. Because there is so much -- misperceived or real -- money to be made cryptomining, people will find other, likely even-less-energy-efficient ways to do it. Cryptomining smartphone malware comes to mind.
Freedom is great when we aren't facing environmental catastrophe and the rise of the extreme right. Imagine telling future children that you trashed the planet and society because you wanted to calculate some invisible numbers, pretend to shoot someone on a screen or let people say hateful things without consequence.
It's not the argument against hate speech or talking about the downsides of capitalism (in any stage). It's about the way they espouse to solve those problems that make them facists/communists/nazis/"whatever other -ists you want to apply" (it's all part of the same ultra authoritarian coin).
A Sinclair ZX80 cannot "easily do your bookkeeping and taxes" and its power consumption (combined with the required display and cassette recorder to presumably load this unstated bookkeeping and tax software) far exceeds the power usage of many modern day computing devices, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. Also, cruise ships emit far more carbon per passenger per kilometre than flying.
@mecmec: re power consumption: you are technically correct, as a ZX 80 has a power supply of 9V @1.4A == 12.6 Watts, and a ... say, a Raspberry Pi 2B will run on 5V @ <= 2A which is <= 10 Watts. The display display is irrelevant to these calculations, since each computer must have a display device, and you can hook a ZX-80 to a flat-panel TV/monitor. And yes, the cassette recorder will consume some additional power.
The point I was trying to make with my "ZX-80" comment was that the computer tasks which are most energy-demanding are also the least "necessary", i.e., watching or transcoding videos, playing modern video games, and doing things which use GUIs, and that the "Ban GPUs" AC was insisting on a global sacrifice which would not affect that AC.
The display device is not irrelevant. A ZX80 needs to be constantly plugged in and drawing power. A modern phone or tablet has a built in display, can be charged in an hour or two, has access to modern, intuitive, accounting and spreadsheet solutions and will last for a day or two without being plugged in at all. I understand the point you were trying to make. My point was that the analogies you were making (not just in relation to the ZX80) were very poor. Even now you're moving the goalposts, I have to tell you that entertainment is an important aspect of life and no less 'necessary' now than it was in 1980. And thank god nobody has to spend hours typing in games manually from Sinclair Magazine or making x attempts to reload something from cassette because analogue tape loading was so unreliable. What a complete waste of energy (both physical and electrical) that was.
@mecmec: re cruise ships vs jet airplanes, I'll say you're right, 'cause I pulled the ship-vs-jet thing out of my ass, and Google's* top results support your assertion. Environmentally-best choices are difficult-to-impossible to make because the choices are never (accurately) "factor A vs factor B". It's "consider factors A, B, C, D, E, F ..." The factors to make the environmentally-best choice of cruise ship vs jet plane are not just carbon emitted per passenger-kilometre. They also include things such as the environmental costs of extracting, manufacturing, storing, and transporting bunker oil vs Jet-A, the likelihood of spills, the average amount spilled, the environmental damage done by each sort of spill, etc. Then, there are the environmental costs of extracting, transporting, refining, storing, forming (melting metal and plastic to form them releases chemicals into the air) the materials which make up cruise ships vs jet airplanes. Then there's average lifetime of each vessel/aircraft, the environmental costs to dispose of them, etc.
There are many (frequently-competing) moneyed interests who wish the true environmental costs of Thing X to remain hidden.
I can't even accurately determine whether rechargable batteries are more or less harmful to use then "disposable" batteries.
*Google is a majorly-moneyed interest, and cannot be relied upon to provide accurate information.
The ban would just be to private individuals and businesses that can't make a compelling case. They would have to demonstrate that their power consumption served a greater good. How many individuals are finding medical cures at home vs how many are spewing carbon for pointless cryptocurrency and gaming?
"Specifically, those 'flagship' ones that can now suck down over a kW on their own."
The maximum power draw of any GPU currently available for purchase is under 500 W.
"They're the ones that miners are using"
Miners are certainly not all running RTX 3090 Ti. Miners use GPUs with the best cost/performance ratio. An RTX 3070 costs four times less than a 3090 Ti, gets better than half the performance while using less than half the power. Guess which one people interested in actually making money will choose. This is why normal people have had trouble getting hold of GPUs for the last few years - miners want exactly the same GPUs as everyone else. If they only wanted the high-end cards no-one would have noticed, because no-one else actually wants to buy them. Complaining about high-end GPUs is like complaining about expensive sports cars; there's absolutely no point worrying about one person buying a Bugatti Veyron while ignoring the millions of people driving Ford Focuses.
"no one needs to play games... Entire consoles consume less and can be hard locked to limit gaming to a socially... responsible number of hours per week."
You're an idiot.
> Isn't that the exact antithesis of what "cryptocurrency" is supposed to be about?
Cryptocurrency is just about making money without working. Kind of letting your computer go to work for you. That's all there is*.
So yes, much like in all possible ways money could be made throughout the ages, having money facilitates making money. I don't see why cryptocurrencies should be any different.
* The whole "freedom" and "privacy" claim is just a scam. Cryptocurrencies aren't any of that, and certainly more traceable than the quaint old-fashioned coins: Nobody could trace a coin, a medieval pouch of gold coins was universal, stable and totally untraceable...
Erm, the real problem is the continuing worship of fossil fuels by the uncaring followers of the Exxon/Peabody/Koch axis. And those who believe as NASA scientist Roy Spencer “Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence—are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting”
The difficult question about solar power satellites was always how thd power that paid for them, and an orbital infrastructure around them, was to get to the planet.
Use it up there. Ship the data.
Make use of power within Earth's atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere illegal, watch as had panels dread.
If they'd like to drop inward a little - more sunlight, less eclipses - then thry could cluster around L1 and marginally decrease Earth's insolation helping to counter existing trouble from prior burning.
A few implementation details, but the market I'm told will work such things out.