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Author Topic: A more environmentally friendly currency?  (Read 1245 times)
corne_de_brume
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February 03, 2013, 10:31:14 AM
 #1

Hi, according to Wikipedia the Bitcoin mining process "requires intense computing power, electricity and significant investment as it solves hashes through bruteforce to verify transactions and add them to the network's transaction log." So I was wondering if bitcoins and the bitcoin exchange mechanism could be adapted or replaced by a currency that was more environmentally friendly?

Some ideas:

Mine "Carbon"

By seeking out carbon dioxide capturing programs and reselling the carbon certified as captured. "Carbon" could work as a clean exchange mechanism. A currency and exchange mechanism measured in grams (or kilos, tonnes etc) of CO2 or equivalent captured.

Mine Clean Energy

By seeking out wind farms and so on and reselling the energy certified as clean. A currency and exchange mechanism measured in Joules (or kilojoules, megajoules, etc) of clean energy produced.

Mine Environmental Data

Bitcoin is harnessing enormous computing power, why not put that power to good use, distributed computing of climate models and so on. A currency measured in bits (or bytes, kilobytes etc) of data crushed by computation.
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Lethn
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February 03, 2013, 10:32:50 AM
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Ewwww Environmentalist! >_< Tongue


But seriously, if you feel that way we already have solar and wind power available, what sucks balls is our ability to store electricity, if we can store electricity for long periods of time in batteries ( I KNOW YOU'RE OUT THERE TO LECTURE ME SCIENTISTS I KNOW ABOUT CHEMICAL AND KINETIC ENERGY ) so that way we won't be as dependent on the other stuff anymore.
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February 03, 2013, 11:15:42 AM
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As inefficient as bitcoin is, it's still the least expensive way to send money internationally.  Big banks are even more wasteful.  The fact that bitcoin exists as a viable alternative should give you some idea of just how bad things actually are.
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February 03, 2013, 01:00:55 PM
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What Bitcoin achieves is de-centralization and pseudo-anonimity. To propose a valid alternative it has to have those two characteristics.

So now the question is, how do you achieve a completely decentralized system, with no central point of failure, with your ideas or mine Carbon and mine clean energy? Remember that your system must be able to certify that no one is cheating while not having any type of central authority.

Quote
Mine Environmental Data

Bitcoin is harnessing enormous computing power, why not put that power to good use, distributed computing of climate models and so on. A currency measured in bits (or bytes, kilobytes etc) of data crushed by computation.

The Bitcoin computing power is being put to good use. It secures the Bitcoin network. Now the question you ask is, so why not use it to secure the Bitcoin network and at the same time analize some climate model (or something)? The answer is that the data has to be random and a climate model is not random enough and could lead to vulnerabilities and basically people stealing others people money.
greyhawk
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February 03, 2013, 01:02:36 PM
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You seem to have taken a wrong turn somewhere. This is a community of comic book villains intent on either ruling or destroying earth. You will find no support for your environmentalism here, Captain Planet.
Anon136
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February 03, 2013, 01:38:10 PM
 #6

Ewwww Environmentalist! >_< Tongue


But seriously, if you feel that way we already have solar and wind power available, what sucks balls is our ability to store electricity, if we can store electricity for long periods of time in batteries ( I KNOW YOU'RE OUT THERE TO LECTURE ME SCIENTISTS I KNOW ABOUT CHEMICAL AND KINETIC ENERGY ) so that way we won't be as dependent on the other stuff anymore.

ive always wondered. Why could energy not be stored physically instead of chemically. So during the day your solar panels slowly raise something that weighs a thousands of tons off of the ground and at night you reclaim that energy by letting it slowly sink back down to the ground.

*disclaimer* im not saying this is a good idea im sure it will be explained almost immediately why it isnt a good idea, im just curious i am not proposing that we do this.

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lookingforphone
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February 03, 2013, 01:59:51 PM
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ive always wondered. Why could energy not be stored physically instead of chemically. So during the day your solar panels slowly raise something that weighs a thousands of tons off of the ground and at night you reclaim that energy by letting it slowly sink back down to the ground.

*disclaimer* im not saying this is a good idea im sure it will be explained almost immediately why it isnt a good idea, im just curious i am not proposing that we do this.

Why would you think that potential energy is a more efficient storage than chemical energy?
Lethn
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February 03, 2013, 02:02:57 PM
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The problem as I've seen it explained is that because electrons are constantly moving you can't store them in there raw form, you have to either have the ability to constantly generate electricity ( which seems impossible with our current knowledge ) or the more practical option that we already do of converting the generated electricity into chemical energy and stored in batteries, the problem with this idea is our batteries suck right now and if they do work well they're incredibly expensive to run or even replace once they wear out.

That's my understanding of it anyway and now I need to research potential energy properly as well >_< LOL Tongue
lookingforphone
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February 03, 2013, 02:08:23 PM
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The problem as I've seen it explained is that because electrons are constantly moving you can't store them in there raw form, you have to either have the ability to constantly generate electricity ( which seems impossible with our current knowledge ) or the more practical option that we already do of converting the generated electricity into chemical energy and stored in batteries, the problem with this idea is our batteries suck right now and if they do work well they're incredibly expensive to run or even replace once they wear out.

That's my understanding of it anyway and now I need to research potential energy properly as well >_< LOL Tongue

Potential energy is just energy due to position, generally related to gravity. For example, if I raise an object from the ground and put it on top of the table I just raised the object potential energy. The energy will be released when the object falls down the table.

I was curious about why someone would think thats a more efficient storage of energy, because it seems counter-intuitive to me. Getting energy out of an object falling seems hard (and yes, I know thats how hydro engery works, but it is just harnessing the potential energy of the water already being there, not using it as battery system).
Timer
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February 03, 2013, 02:11:38 PM
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Rent out a farm in Las Vegas and invest $100,000 into computers + solar panels and just mine the BTC of solar energy  Tongue
Peter Lambert
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February 03, 2013, 03:02:39 PM
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The problem as I've seen it explained is that because electrons are constantly moving you can't store them in there raw form, you have to either have the ability to constantly generate electricity ( which seems impossible with our current knowledge ) or the more practical option that we already do of converting the generated electricity into chemical energy and stored in batteries, the problem with this idea is our batteries suck right now and if they do work well they're incredibly expensive to run or even replace once they wear out.

That's my understanding of it anyway and now I need to research potential energy properly as well >_< LOL Tongue

Potential energy is just energy due to position, generally related to gravity. For example, if I raise an object from the ground and put it on top of the table I just raised the object potential energy. The energy will be released when the object falls down the table.

I was curious about why someone would think thats a more efficient storage of energy, because it seems counter-intuitive to me. Getting energy out of an object falling seems hard (and yes, I know thats how hydro engery works, but it is just harnessing the potential energy of the water already being there, not using it as battery system).

Storing energy efficiently has to do with how efficient putting energy into the system is, how efficient taking it out is, and how much energy is lost over time. Chemical energy storage is relatively well developed and efficient. Batteries typically do not leak much energy while sitting and they have good efficiency for getting energy in and out. Fuel cells can also be very efficient.

There are other ways to store energy: Capacitors can store electrical energy in high voltage differences, but typically have high leakage (the amount of energy stored goes down drastically over time). You can use a flywheel to store physical energy (this has been used along side homopolar motors to store and then generate large amounts of current). Energy can be stored as heat, that is how some large solar plants work 24 h, they heat a material while the sun is shining, and then use the heat slowly over the whole day.

What you suggest: lifting an object and then letting it fall later would work, but you would need a very large object and the capability to lift and hold it. Lifting would probably be a low efficiency endeavor. You would also be very limited by the height you could lift the object.

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Lethn
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February 03, 2013, 03:05:11 PM
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I think the strength of gravity on our planet is what's preventing a lot of ideas from working I'd be pretty interested in experimenting with electricity in space but the problem is getting up there in a fairly cheap and efficient way to begin with, but once we solve that problem we'll hardly have anything holding us back. I'm curious for instance as what you could do with electricity on low gravity environments like the moon.

This is why I'm so hopeful about materials like graphene, because it will probably mean we'll be able to develop techniques where we can make some extremely light weight metal that wouldn't take several tons of thrust to get up in the air.
corne_de_brume
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February 03, 2013, 03:19:46 PM
 #13

Ewwww Environmentalist! >_< Tongue


But seriously, if you feel that way we already have solar and wind power available, what sucks balls is our ability to store electricity, if we can store electricity for long periods of time in batteries ( I KNOW YOU'RE OUT THERE TO LECTURE ME SCIENTISTS I KNOW ABOUT CHEMICAL AND KINETIC ENERGY ) so that way we won't be as dependent on the other stuff anymore.

ive always wondered. Why could energy not be stored physically instead of chemically. So during the day your solar panels slowly raise something that weighs a thousands of tons off of the ground and at night you reclaim that energy by letting it slowly sink back down to the ground.

*disclaimer* im not saying this is a good idea im sure it will be explained almost immediately why it isnt a good idea, im just curious i am not proposing that we do this.

As I understand this happens already in some places: water is pumped uphill to high ground lakes where it is stored until energy is needed, then it is allowed to flow back downhill turning turbines and generating electricity. So your idea is not new and definitely a good one!
corne_de_brume
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February 03, 2013, 03:23:22 PM
 #14

What Bitcoin achieves is de-centralization and pseudo-anonimity. To propose a valid alternative it has to have those two characteristics.

So now the question is, how do you achieve a completely decentralized system, with no central point of failure, with your ideas or mine Carbon and mine clean energy? Remember that your system must be able to certify that no one is cheating while not having any type of central authority.

Quote
Mine Environmental Data

Bitcoin is harnessing enormous computing power, why not put that power to good use, distributed computing of climate models and so on. A currency measured in bits (or bytes, kilobytes etc) of data crushed by computation.

The Bitcoin computing power is being put to good use. It secures the Bitcoin network. Now the question you ask is, so why not use it to secure the Bitcoin network and at the same time analize some climate model (or something)? The answer is that the data has to be random and a climate model is not random enough and could lead to vulnerabilities and basically people stealing others people money.

Good point, but can't I leave that bit to the geniuses who invented Bitcoin?!
Peter Lambert
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February 03, 2013, 03:26:06 PM
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I think the strength of gravity on our planet is what's preventing a lot of ideas from working I'd be pretty interested in experimenting with electricity in space but the problem is getting up there in a fairly cheap and efficient way to begin with, but once we solve that problem we'll hardly have anything holding us back. I'm curious for instance as what you could do with electricity on low gravity environments like the moon.

This is why I'm so hopeful about materials like graphene, because it will probably mean we'll be able to develop techniques where we can make some extremely light weight metal that wouldn't take several tons of thrust to get up in the air.

Look up the idea of a space elevator.

There is tons of research going on right now investigating composite materials and carbon nanofibers and such, materials are getting stronger and lighter and cheaper.

On the thread topic: the introduction of ASICs has the effect of increasing the computational power of the network and lowering the electrical power consumption because they are much more energy efficient than previous technologies.

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February 03, 2013, 03:26:46 PM
 #16

Pro-tip: Invest in a big solar panel instead of mining and buy the Bitcoins with the money you make  Wink
Ari
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February 03, 2013, 03:31:49 PM
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ive always wondered. Why could energy not be stored physically instead of chemically. So during the day your solar panels slowly raise something that weighs a thousands of tons off of the ground and at night you reclaim that energy by letting it slowly sink back down to the ground.

*disclaimer* im not saying this is a good idea im sure it will be explained almost immediately why it isnt a good idea, im just curious i am not proposing that we do this.

Why would you think that potential energy is a more efficient storage than chemical energy?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumped-storage_hydroelectricity
Lethn
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February 03, 2013, 03:59:19 PM
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I think the strength of gravity on our planet is what's preventing a lot of ideas from working I'd be pretty interested in experimenting with electricity in space but the problem is getting up there in a fairly cheap and efficient way to begin with, but once we solve that problem we'll hardly have anything holding us back. I'm curious for instance as what you could do with electricity on low gravity environments like the moon.

This is why I'm so hopeful about materials like graphene, because it will probably mean we'll be able to develop techniques where we can make some extremely light weight metal that wouldn't take several tons of thrust to get up in the air.

Look up the idea of a space elevator.

There is tons of research going on right now investigating composite materials and carbon nanofibers and such, materials are getting stronger and lighter and cheaper.

On the thread topic: the introduction of ASICs has the effect of increasing the computational power of the network and lowering the electrical power consumption because they are much more energy efficient than previous technologies.

Gravity will bitch slap that plan out of orbit I reckon, I've always thought over time the part that's in the atmosphere will just collapse, I suppose though with the new materials being discovered it might be possible, just maybe, you'd also have to account for all sorts of weather problems for the part of the elevator that's in the atmosphere and that would be exceptionally difficult to handle with such a long lot of material. Whenever you think up these ideas you have to think about them on a massive industrial scale and think about how much it will all cost otherwise for the purposes of solving our problem of expensive electricity it's going to be pretty useless.
lookingforphone
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February 03, 2013, 05:40:00 PM
 #19

What you suggest: lifting an object and then letting it fall later would work, but you would need a very large object and the capability to lift and hold it. Lifting would probably be a low efficiency endeavor. You would also be very limited by the height you could lift the object.

I dont know if you realize I was not suggesting that option, but questioning it.
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February 03, 2013, 09:23:37 PM
 #20

Good point, but can't I leave that bit to the geniuses who invented Bitcoin?!
Not to put too fine a point on it, but no, you can't. You claim that the current system is bad and that your alternative is better, yet you don't actually have the faintest idea how the system works, what requirements it must meet, or even how to implement your alternative. You'll get no support from anyone until you take the time to understand what Bitcoin is and how it works and what technical problems it needs to address, and can explain in detail exactly how your alternative is supposed to work.

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