Crypto’s Heavy Carbon Footprint

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    • #465765
      eridani
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      • Total Posts: 11,670

      https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/01/13/cryptos-heavy-carbon-footprint/

      But the increasing popularity of cryptocurrency has environmentalists on edge, as the digital “mining” of it creates a massive carbon footprint due to the staggering amount of energy it requires. Based on data from the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Indexfrom Digiconomist, an online tool created by data scientist Alex de Vries, the carbon footprint of Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, is equivalent to that of New Zealand, with both emitting nearly 37 megatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year, according to a February 2021 CNBC article.

      To understand why this is a problem, it’s important to explain what goes into creating a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Unlike fiat money, which is regulated through central banks, transactions in Bitcoin are tracked through a public ledger consisting of a network of computers around the world: the blockchain. “Mining”—a process in which computational puzzles are solved in order to verify transactions between users, which are then added to the blockchain—allows this validation to take place, which is an energy-intensive process.

      It’s been a bit of a wild ride for Bitcoin. The market price of a single bitcoin plunged below $30,000 in June 2021 for the first time since January 2021—falling by more than half from its April peak of around $65,000. Nevertheless, some analysts and billionaire investors are still feeling bullish about the crypto coin, as several leading businesses continue to adopt the currency.

      Goldman Sachs started trading Bitcoin futures (agreeing to transact the coin at a predetermined future date and price). Tesla invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin. PayPal announced in March 2021 that it would allow its U.S. customers to use cryptocurrency to pay its millions of online merchants. In September, El Salvador became the first country to make bitcoin legal tender. This, coupled with the fact that big-name brands like AT&T, Home Depot, Microsoft, Starbucks and Whole Foods now accept bitcoin payments, could pave the way for mainstream use. But if the bulls are right and the price of a single Bitcoin eventually hits $500,000, it would pump more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than what is released by countries like Brazil or Mexico.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #465792
      Ohio Barbarian
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      • Total Posts: 24,441

      .

      Never let your morals stop you from doing the right thing.--Isaac Asimov

      The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them.--Julius Nyerere

      • #465816
        Bearian
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        • Total Posts: 907

        This is America, we invented Pollution.
        Coal Truck

        Bitcoin is a big Polluter,  Cell Phones and EV’s reduce Pollution.

        • #465818
          Ohio Barbarian
          Moderator
          • Total Posts: 24,441

          Just saying that the carbon footprint for cellphones and electric cars is far larger than liberals want to admit. It’s called mining, which is the same thing that Bitcoin supposedly does. Those rare earth minerals have to come from somewhere.

          Never let your morals stop you from doing the right thing.--Isaac Asimov

          The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them.--Julius Nyerere

          • #465819
            Bearian
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            • Total Posts: 907

            Keep burning Carbon. Because?

            • #465824
              Ohio Barbarian
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              • Total Posts: 24,441

              I didn’t say that, either. Just saying it’s hypocritical to criticize bitcoin for its carbon footprint and not the cellphones, computers, and electric cars you seem to be such a fan of.

              The ideal solution to reducing carbon emissions is nuclear fusion power, and the French and Chinese appear to be getting closer. If you want to reduce the carbon footprint with the technology you have now, and still have electricity, you should support building more nuclear fission reactors, preferably thorium ones.

              There, I’ve given you something else to get all snarky about.

              Never let your morals stop you from doing the right thing.--Isaac Asimov

              The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them.--Julius Nyerere

          • #465971
            eridani
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            • Total Posts: 11,670

            Bitcoin is not.

            Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

            • #466010
              Ohio Barbarian
              Moderator
              • Total Posts: 24,441

              I don’t know enough about Bitcoin to say whether it’s useful or not. Electric cars are not useful for me and mine, because we can’t afford them and there is not a network of charging stations we could use even if we did have one, but I am NOT opposed to electric cars or cellphones.

              Never let your morals stop you from doing the right thing.--Isaac Asimov

              The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them.--Julius Nyerere

            • #469032
              Voltairine
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              • Total Posts: 2,508

              don’t use cars or cell phones. There’s on objective criteria over that is usefull and what is not.

              To make a fair comparison, what is the energy cost of the central bank fiats? Compared to Bitcoin etc. PoW tokens? Compared to PoS and other proof-of-systems?

              Seriously, Eridani. Are you trying to make the case that Central bank fiats are sustainable and just, and therefore any and all attempts to build alternative monetary systems are not necessary, and should be opposed to support the monopoly of central bank fiats?

              What do you have to say to the fact that central bank fiats are mathematical ponzies requiring exponential growth to avoid collapse, and dictate thus also real economy to behave as growth mania, which is the main cause of all unsustainable ecological problems?

              Aloha!

    • #465838
      Bearian
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      • Total Posts: 907

      What’s that 20 years off before it is implemented 2040 is too late.. I don’t find Bitcoin as much of a necessity as Communication or Transportation. How many people are involved with Bitcoin, 80 million. A vast minority of owners causing mass Pollution. But lets talk about EV’s users carbon footprint. It’s much less than ICE vehicles. So we wait for Fission or do something now. I also don’t like how Dems infrastructure, is Roads and Bridges. We need light rail to reduce the number of cars. We don’t need tax rebates for EV’s we need tariffs on ICE.

      • #466011
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 24,441

        I fear it is too late to prevent catastrophic climate change no matter what we do now, but it never hurts to try.

        Never let your morals stop you from doing the right thing.--Isaac Asimov

        The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them.--Julius Nyerere

      • #469033
        Voltairine
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        • Total Posts: 2,508

        How many people are subjected by physical force to use central bank fiats?

        What is the environmental cost of monetary systems which are mathematically ponzies and dictate continuous growth mania? What is the social and environmental cost of central bank fiats?

        Look at the dollar bill. It has a picture of pyramid – as in pyramid scheme and pareto principle – with Sauron’s eye on top of it.

        Aloha!

    • #465921
      snot
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      • Total Posts: 1,494

      if a fair comparison were made to the carbon footprint of dollars or other currencies or stores of value, whether we’re talking about the creation, distribution, and retirement of paper money, or of new dollars via the Fed and other lenders, or the mining and minting of gold, or etc.

      Destruction is easy; creation is hard, but more interesting.

      • #469035
        Voltairine
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        • Total Posts: 2,508

        and no response from those hypnotized by Dollar.

        Aloha!

    • #469037
      Yanath
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      • Total Posts: 2,815

      Converting, processing and storing value is energy intensive. No matter its medium, it should done for the purpose of benefiting human society at large, without destroying the biosphere.

      • #469046
        Voltairine
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 2,508

        The function of means of exchange, (and function of unit of accounting in service of the purpose of exchange), is distributed information network that informs participants of supply and demand, of needs and ways to satisfy needs. The real value of money is if and when it can enable playing synergetic win-win games on the global stage, in addition to oral information based win win games in local communities.

        The “store of value”- function of money comes from using money primarily as means of taxation etc. extraction of wealth from the many to the benefit of the few, who control the creation and distribution of money, and create money as arbitrary scarcity. What’s arbitrary scarcity? You go to a supermarket, see abundance, but without money all the abundance is beyond your means. Hence the Scrooge McDonald fetishism of money, the money hypnosis.

        So, to bring sanity back to the money business, money creation and distribution needs to be socially owned – meaning decentralized, as coops are decentralized, and monetary systems need to be voluntary, not forced at gunpoint (“You must use this money to pay protection money aka “taxes” to the mafia that created this money, and always exhange everything you produce to the money this mafia created”).

        To make mathematical win win games sustainable and well functioning, is a challenging math and socio-psychological problem, but not impossible. Blockchain etc. decentralized ledgers provide the technical means to innovate better and better win win games, better synergy, and ultimately world peace without state borders and class borders. Those who give word ‘communism’ and ‘communist society’ a positive libertarian meaning, would call that goal communism. Those who think ‘communism’ is a bad word referring to authoritarian top down society, can use any word they like, if they agree that world peace and world without artificial borders is a worthy goal. It’s not about the naming word, it’s about making it happen. And with blockchain revolution, it’s become practically doable in a generation.

        Aloha!

        • #469699
          eridani
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          • Total Posts: 11,670

          The main investors in cryptocurrency are calculating cheats.  It has no use as a medium of exchange.

          Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

          • #469822
            Voltairine
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            • Total Posts: 2,508

            about tech with potential to build complex global society without centralized bureaucrecy and class structure?

            What’s revolutionary about liberation from class society?

            Aloha!

            • #470267
              eridani
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              • Total Posts: 11,670

              Not sure why you think blockchain can facilitate a classless society.

              Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

              • #470465
                Voltairine
                Participant
                • Total Posts: 2,508

                Opportunity makes the thief. Centralized top down bureaucracy – central  bank etc. who create money, distribute it initially, etc keep the books – has every opportunity to cook the books in their own benefit, in the benefit of the class of scribes which is roughly 20% of population. The same 20% which has been on the winning side of neoliberal globalization and its extremely intensified class war everywhere.

                A traditional “solution” by social democrats/liberals has been more controlling bureaucracy to prevent white collar crime, more controllers to control the controllers, more bureaucracy all the way down. Well, we can all see the near complete fusion of corporate and state bureaucracies into supranational corporate fascism. And even if you want to regress to more nationalist nation state bureaucracies with less corruption, the problem of “quid custodet ipsos custodies” is fundamentally unsolvable by doing more of the same centralized bureaucracy.

                Another possibility is “anarcho-primitivism”, give up civilization based on written language as unsustainable, and fully return to egalitarian local self-sustainable communities based on oral communication. That’s what we know how to do, but it would be harsh for many contemporary people if happening suddendly.

                If we want to have complex global society based on written language and bureaucracy, new information tech offers possibility to try something genuinely new: largely automated bureaucracy based on peer-to-peer decentralized ledgers, which have potential to be free of the ‘quid custodet ipsos custodies’ -problem. Such global society would be based on free association, genuinely voluntary social contracts, a “free market” of social contracts and their innovation and evolution.
                A term for such non-territorial vision for complex society is ‘Panarchy’.

                I’ve often said, not least to irk ancaps and right libertarians, that they as the vanguard of cryprorevolution, are the genuine vanguard of global communist society without state borders, without class borders. Which has become practically doable in a generation, thanks to the new information tech based on massively parallel computation and decenctralized ledgers. 🙂

                Aloha!

                • #470575
                  eridani
                  Participant
                  • Total Posts: 11,670

                  –than to keep track of all the scum profiting from bitcoin.

                  Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

                  • #470671
                    Voltairine
                    Participant
                    • Total Posts: 2,508

                    take a good look where we are, where the Fed scum etc. WS scum have taken us…

                    Most people who use Bitcoin are not US citizens, and they are not scum. Salvador etc. Latin America, Vietnam, Nigeria…

                    Aloha!

              • #470476
                Voltairine
                Participant
                • Total Posts: 2,508

                The blockchain algorithm offers a practical solution to the Byzantine General’s problem of parallel computation. You have interest in mathematical sciences,  so feel free to check that up to have better sense of the nit and grit.

                Aloha!

                • #471207
                  eridani
                  Participant
                  • Total Posts: 11,670

                  –finanacial bullshitters.

                  Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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