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Author Topic: 2015-10-06 The Drum - Bitcoins are a waste of energy - literally  (Read 687 times)
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October 06, 2015, 05:44:47 AM
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Vast amounts of electricity go into feeding the Bitcoin delusion. Fortunately, it's unlikely that the digital currency will survive long enough to generate the environmental disaster that would arise if it became a major part of the financial system, writes John Quiggin.

www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-06/quiggin-bitcoins-are-a-waste-of-energy/6827940

Unusually, the comments are more intelligent than the article, though that's not saying much.

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October 06, 2015, 05:50:34 AM
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The average US household uses 10 to 12 000 kWh in electricity each year, about the same as would be required to generate four Bitcoins worth a little under $1,000. But the same average household has about $6,000 in cash on hand and savings accounts, and around $15,000 in credit card balances. Switching even a small part of a typical household's financial transactions to Bitcoins must therefore entail a massive increase in electricity use.

For some reason he seems to think people can only get or use BTC by mining (rather a stupid mistake for a professor to make).

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October 06, 2015, 10:54:52 AM
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The average US household uses 10 to 12 000 kWh in electricity each year, about the same as would be required to generate four Bitcoins worth a little under $1,000. But the same average household has about $6,000 in cash on hand and savings accounts, and around $15,000 in credit card balances. Switching even a small part of a typical household's financial transactions to Bitcoins must therefore entail a massive increase in electricity use.

For some reason he seems to think people can only get or use BTC by mining (rather a stupid mistake for a professor to make).


Yes, he seems to be writing more from butthurt than reason. This issue comes up again and again and its going to need stamping out at some stage, the worlds ATMs alone use more energy than the Bitcoin network and a significant percentage of the network is powered by renewables, no idea what percentage but its obvious to all but an ARC Laureate Fellow in economics at the University of Queensland that mining will go where power is cheapest and ultimately that's renewables. That's just capitalism in action but Professor John Quiggin seems to have a blind spot in that particular area.

Not to mention that the worldwide ATM network is only performing a useful service with all the electricity they consume for a fraction of the time that they are consuming that electricity (unless you count "ready for use" as valid functionality).

Bitcoin miners are doing something useful 100% of the time. Arguably.  Grin (proving that trillions of hashes do not satisfy the current difficulty is useful. SHA256 altcoins, and particularly sidechains, can make use of the ostensibly "wasted" hashes in any case)

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October 06, 2015, 11:18:28 AM
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It's not a wase of energy at all. Just like data centers, mining farms produce a lot heat which can be used to heat nearby houses and other buildings in the winter if the farm in question is large enough.

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The average US household uses 10 to 12 000 kWh in electricity each year, about the same as would be required to generate four Bitcoins worth a little under $1,000. But the same average household has about $6,000 in cash on hand and savings accounts, and around $15,000 in credit card balances. Switching even a small part of a typical household's financial transactions to Bitcoins must therefore entail a massive increase in electricity use.

For some reason he seems to think people can only get or use BTC by mining (rather a stupid mistake for a professor to make).


I have seen top bank investors talking trash about Bitcoin, governments, and so on. They can't seem to understand how Bitcoin really works and what it is capable of. Ignorance at the highest level from people you would expect it the least.

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October 06, 2015, 12:37:10 PM
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Ok, If you take into account how much electricity is used to operate banks and the computers and networks they use, and the cooling systems and the security equipment, Bitcoin are only using a fraction of that.

This is total fud and should be ignored. A poor attempt to discredit Bitcoin. Looks like everyone is looking for a way to attack Bitcoin.

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October 06, 2015, 01:39:41 PM
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I wonder how much energy is wasted playing mobile Kim Kardashian games.

And yet, they rail about Bitcoin.

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December 24, 2015, 03:53:23 AM
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fort knox, the federal reserve system, with security guards, press conferences, congressional hearings, secret service, acres of buildings with a/c and a zillion computers, all to prop up the dollar.  So bitcoin eats some electricity.  come now.

Every year the world is getting more peaceful.
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