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Author Topic: Is there any research being done to make the blockchain less energy consuming?  (Read 2954 times)
Euro1000
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November 19, 2017, 12:35:33 PM
 #41

According to the ECB the total cost of fiat money production, fiat money storage and fiat money transportation are
roughly 1 % of the total economic output of the European union each year, which equates to roughly 140 billion € at the moment.

Thank you for this.

So, for this part of FIAT (only for EUR) they (or we?) pay 1.4 bln €

According to https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption the global mining costs are $1.433 bln USD.

I know you cannot compare costs with energy directly but if you take into account that we talking about only a part of the FIAT energy costs and this only for EUR, it could turn out that BTC uses less energy than FIAT ...
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Carlton Banks
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November 19, 2017, 01:54:13 PM
 #42

I know you cannot compare costs with energy directly but if you take into account that we talking about only a part of the FIAT energy costs and this only for EUR, it could turn out that BTC uses less energy than FIAT ...

Why. Does. It. Even. Matter.

It doesn't. BTC hashrate is doing something useful, and innovatively so.


If someone can give some valid reasoning as to why using less energy for a task that depends on energy intensity is a good idea, I'd be genuinely interested to hear it.

Vires in numeris
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November 19, 2017, 05:30:30 PM
 #43

Sometimes I have discussions with people thinking that BTC is a waste of energy and we should stick to FIAT instead.
Even if the computation of hashes is useful it is also bad for the ecology.
I think it would be interesting know which of these two systems is wasting more energy - FIAT or BTC?

Probably I (or we) would have (another) argument against FIAT.
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November 19, 2017, 06:37:32 PM
 #44

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I am curious, do these ledgers have all the balances of every address on them? Or just the new transactions?
It seems to me like it would have the same security if the ledgers just stored balances instead of transactions which isn't the case for PoW chains.
There would be no need for the old ledgers then. You can just have the most recent one. And poof goes the blockchain.
It is just a SWIFT system now where anyone can be a bank, right?
The security between these two is not the same because when you do not store the transactions that caused a change, you lose the ability to audit what happened.


Ripple stores both the transactions as well as the effects the transactions had on the global state of the network. (See Ripple Tech Talk: Understanding Consensus (Mar 2015) for an in-depth description, this is covered at 22:34).

~Wiebe-Marten


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Sure it is very different if you actually care for some reason what happened and not just what the current state is. But when it comes to currencies, most people don't care ,and really there is no reason why they should, about who owned how much money in the past. Sure maybe some historians do, but for the purpose of currency, it is useless. In PoW that is necessary, but in PoS it isn't so it shouldn't be there. It is just a cost for the nodes to keep a history.

The history doesn't matter in PoS. It doesn't matter in PoW either, it is just that you can't show the current state in PoW without showing the past.

And that is my point. There is no reason for a blockchain in a PoS currency. It is just a cost. It is a scam to make it sound like it has anything to do with Bitcoin, but it doesn't. The technology used for PoS was used for decades before Bitcoin existed, it is nothing new, just a marketing trick of the banks where they use a new trend to sell their old services in a new package.

You don't have to be running a node from the beginning to know that the blockchain that you are following is the same one as it always was in Bitcoin. In PoS that is not the case. In PoS there are people who can give to chains that are both equally valid and that the nodes can't decide whether they received the coins or not, even tho they see both chains. In PoW that isn't the case.

The point is that PoS coins are just P2P technology. Not that different then using torrents for ledgers. PoW is something new, a different technology, that binds digital to physical in an impressive way.

Sometimes I have discussions with people thinking that BTC is a waste of energy and we should stick to FIAT instead.
Even if the computation of hashes is useful it is also bad for the ecology.
I think it would be interesting know which of these two systems is wasting more energy - FIAT or BTC?

Probably I (or we) would have (another) argument against FIAT.

Bircoin can run on green energy, like the rest of the digital technology. It can be run from solar panels in the dessert where nothing grows.
Cash needs trees to be cut for paper or for plastic to be used that is polluting the world. Either way, the reason that Bitcoin was created for wasn't to be more ecofriendly then fiat, it was to be more decentralized and secure.
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November 19, 2017, 08:09:41 PM
 #45

I agree with the poster that said POW is an ever escalating arms race but it seems to be safer than POS.   Leading to more power for the richer bigger investors.

I don't know much about computers so if this is dumb, be easy on me!   It's possible to mine BTC on cell phones.   Problem with that is that it is nothing compared to an ASIC.

To prevent high powered ASICs being used would it be possible to check if the miner actually had a living human controlling it.   Something like: only a certain amount of hashes allowed before proof of an operator is required - someone completes a 'captcha'.     Maybe this could decentralise mining and save electricity at the same time
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November 19, 2017, 11:02:02 PM
 #46

meanwhile if i had invested my money in mining i would really try to troll this post, maybe i would need to be a loser too
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November 20, 2017, 03:57:54 AM
 #47

over time the value of the electricity consumed by the miners will approach the value of the total block reward of the blocks.

This is a partially concerning part, but it may also be comforting. I'd need to do the math on it first to decide.

After halving, Block reward may as well be at zero. So let's ignore it for the moment. Over the long term, electricity consumption will be dictated by fees paid by users. The total fee (# of txs * average fee) will need to at minimum = the cost of electricity.

A couple things can happen with this:

1. Bitcoins price increases dramatically and covers the ever increasing electricity demands
2. We reach an efficiency bottleneck with ASICs and electricity consumption requirements level off (seems unlikely and also you could just manufacture more asics - so I think this ones out)
3. Average fee price increases to meet the increased demand of electricity
4. # of txs increases to increase the total fees paid
5. Bitcoin doesn't increase in value, fees and txs don't increase, miners hit a bottleneck due to the cost of electricity and profitability. Bitcoin becomes less secure.

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November 20, 2017, 08:34:58 AM
 #48

...

1. Bitcoins price increases dramatically and covers the ever increasing electricity demands
2. We reach an efficiency bottleneck with ASICs and electricity consumption requirements level off (seems unlikely and also you could just manufacture more asics - so I think this ones out)
3. Average fee price increases to meet the increased demand of electricity
4. # of txs increases to increase the total fees paid
5. Bitcoin doesn't increase in value, fees and txs don't increase, miners hit a bottleneck due to the cost of electricity and profitability. Bitcoin becomes less secure.



I think there are various other possibilities:
6. Huge technological advancements in energy extraction, which causes energy prices to plummet
7. Another cryptocurrency comes up with a better consensus algorithm than PoS or PoW and it gets adopted by the Bitcoin developers (unlikely, probably decades away if it ever happens at all)
8. A PoW change that makes Bitcoin mining less energy consuming
...

However, I think #1 and #3 are the most likely outcomes. Coincidentally, these are also the developments that Satoshi set up in the
initial Bitcoin design. We can already see the price increase in the last years and the development of a competitive fee market (with all
the secondary effects like Bitcoin forks that are mainly caused by the fee increase on the mainchain).
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November 20, 2017, 10:09:50 AM
 #49

Even if the computation of hashes is useful it is also bad for the ecology.


I think it would be interesting know which of these two systems is wasting more energy - FIAT or BTC?

These 2 statements are contradictory. If hash mining is doing something useful, how can it simultaneously be a wasteful system?


PoW-denialists: make a coherent argument, I'm begging you

Vires in numeris
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November 20, 2017, 12:29:04 PM
 #50

Let me rephrase this:
"I think it would be interesting to know which of these two systems is using more energy - FIAT or BTC?"

So I will still keep this sentence, "Even if the computation of hashes is useful it is also bad for the ecology."

Yes, computation of hashes is useful but it's high energy consumption is also bad for the ecology.
So, could we have a cryotocurrency which is more energy effiecient to be more sustainable? Or is FIAT the better way in terms of sustainability?
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November 20, 2017, 02:27:01 PM
 #51

Why is using energy "bad for the ecology" in and of itself. Or "bad for sustainability". Sustaining what?


Is this some kind of malthusian scientific case for genocide you're presenting? (all human activity, eating and breathing especially, consumes energy, it's called being alive)

Why are you presenting these vague, unscientific assumptions to be in any way relevant to Bitcoin's hashing security

Vires in numeris
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November 21, 2017, 12:25:01 AM
 #52

over time the value of the electricity consumed by the miners will approach the value of the total block reward of the blocks.

This is a partially concerning part, but it may also be comforting. I'd need to do the math on it first to decide.

After halving, Block reward may as well be at zero. So let's ignore it for the moment. Over the long term, electricity consumption will be dictated by fees paid by users. The total fee (# of txs * average fee) will need to at minimum = the cost of electricity.

A couple things can happen with this:

1. Bitcoins price increases dramatically and covers the ever increasing electricity demands
2. We reach an efficiency bottleneck with ASICs and electricity consumption requirements level off (seems unlikely and also you could just manufacture more asics - so I think this ones out)
3. Average fee price increases to meet the increased demand of electricity
4. # of txs increases to increase the total fees paid
5. Bitcoin doesn't increase in value, fees and txs don't increase, miners hit a bottleneck due to the cost of electricity and profitability. Bitcoin becomes less secure.



You are missing an important parameter: total hashpower (or hash difficulty beause they are linked) that can flucuate depending on how profitable mining is

To sum up all parameters for a simple model you have: average fee, number of transactions per block (can be taken constant), block reward, total hash power, electricity cost
The difficulty is set so the total haspower mines a block every 10minutes  

Do the math doc

What you will be missing then is how the total hashpower increases or decreases depending on the average profit (some miners will quit if their profits are to low and more miners come if profits are high). You can make your own model and find a nice equilibrium.
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November 21, 2017, 01:17:57 AM
 #53

Why is using energy "bad for the ecology" in and of itself. Or "bad for sustainability". Sustaining what?


Is this some kind of malthusian scientific case for genocide you're presenting? (all human activity, eating and breathing especially, consumes energy, it's called being alive)

Why are you presenting these vague, unscientific assumptions to be in any way relevant to Bitcoin's hashing security

Assume, for a moment, that you/I/They forked a bTN and a BTR. These stand for Bitcoin generated only by Nuclear power, and only by Renewable (solar/wind/geothermal/hydro), respectively.

The free market then quickly establishes if anyone cares. I think they don't...
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November 21, 2017, 06:54:08 AM
 #54

blablabla

you have to compare energy per transaction


That over simplify the whole debate, because a lot of energy that are used for operating cost are not taken into consideration. ATM's and Mainframes used by Banks runs 24/7 <even when they are not used> That <idle> energy should be added to the total electricity used for each transaction. <And the energy that are spend to support it>

You cannot simply ignore the operating cost, because you want to focus on single transactions cost. Who are paying for that electricity? ^blablablablabla^

^SMILE^

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November 22, 2017, 05:51:43 AM
 #55

over time the value of the electricity consumed by the miners will approach the value of the total block reward of the blocks.

This is a partially concerning part, but it may also be comforting. I'd need to do the math on it first to decide.

After halving, Block reward may as well be at zero. So let's ignore it for the moment. Over the long term, electricity consumption will be dictated by fees paid by users. The total fee (# of txs * average fee) will need to at minimum = the cost of electricity.

A couple things can happen with this:

1. Bitcoins price increases dramatically and covers the ever increasing electricity demands
2. We reach an efficiency bottleneck with ASICs and electricity consumption requirements level off (seems unlikely and also you could just manufacture more asics - so I think this ones out)
3. Average fee price increases to meet the increased demand of electricity
4. # of txs increases to increase the total fees paid
5. Bitcoin doesn't increase in value, fees and txs don't increase, miners hit a bottleneck due to the cost of electricity and profitability. Bitcoin becomes less secure.



You are missing an important parameter: total hashpower (or hash difficulty beause they are linked) that can flucuate depending on how profitable mining is

To sum up all parameters for a simple model you have: average fee, number of transactions per block (can be taken constant), block reward, total hash power, electricity cost
The difficulty is set so the total haspower mines a block every 10minutes  

Do the math doc

What you will be missing then is how the total hashpower increases or decreases depending on the average profit (some miners will quit if their profits are to low and more miners come if profits are high). You can make your own model and find a nice equilibrium.


Too many miners quitting due to loss of profitability = bitcoin security degraded = attacks more likely and bitcoin weaker.

Bad scenario - miner profits drop significantly, miners cannot continue mining, miners sell mining equipment at a discount en masse, a malicious party/government buy up surplus mining equipment, and mine as an attack, not for profit.

That's the danger of the above.

You're right that mining finds an equilibrium, but if that equilibrium is, for example, 50% of previous hash power, that's a HUGE problem.
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November 22, 2017, 06:03:14 PM
 #56

According to the ECB the total cost of fiat money production, fiat money storage and fiat money transportation are
roughly 1 % of the total economic output of the European union each year, which equates to roughly 140 billion € at the moment.

Thank you for this.

So, for this part of FIAT (only for EUR) they (or we?) pay 1.4 bln €

According to https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption the global mining costs are $1.433 bln USD.

I know you cannot compare costs with energy directly but if you take into account that we talking about only a part of the FIAT energy costs and this only for EUR, it could turn out that BTC uses less energy than FIAT ...


If this is true, BTC uses way more energy than fiat. You have to remember that there are more euro transactions than btc. I don't have numbers here but I believe the difference is huge. For me, its obvious that btc uses more energy and that is bit of a problem to the environment.

It's possible that in coming decades we will see more environment friendly ways to produce electricity (fusion? Better fission technics? Ocean waves? Better ways to collect energy from the sun?)

(For speculation, if energy becomes too cheap, wouldn't it mean that pow loses its meaning, too)
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November 22, 2017, 06:11:42 PM
 #57

Why is using energy "bad for the ecology" in and of itself. Or "bad for sustainability". Sustaining what?


Is this some kind of malthusian scientific case for genocide you're presenting? (all human activity, eating and breathing especially, consumes energy, it's called being alive)

Why are you presenting these vague, unscientific assumptions to be in any way relevant to Bitcoin's hashing security

Assume, for a moment, that you/I/They forked a bTN and a BTR. These stand for Bitcoin generated only by Nuclear power, and only by Renewable (solar/wind/geothermal/hydro), respectively.

The free market then quickly establishes if anyone cares. I think they don't...

Here in Northern Europe you are considered as "bad person" if you use energy without a cause. It's been a trend for a while now. And if such fork existed, some people would by it just because saving environment is cool. My guess is that "green fork" could be 10%-20% of BTC's value.
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November 22, 2017, 07:24:48 PM
 #58

Here in Northern Europe you are considered as "bad person" if you use energy without a cause.

Why mention that at all? There is a cause for using hash mining to secure a blockchain.

The only evidence is that Bitcoin mining is both useful and efficient. But that doesn't seem to stop uneducated people waving their hands on the internet about "using too much energy". I feel tempted to retort that such people are using too much oxygen.

Vires in numeris
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November 22, 2017, 11:48:59 PM
 #59



If this is true, BTC uses way more energy than fiat. You have to remember that there are more euro transactions than btc. I don't have numbers here but I believe the difference is huge. For me, its obvious that btc uses more energy and that is bit of a problem to the environment.

I think there are miners here who are scared to lose their profits and so they try to mess up the discussion or any evolution. But maybe they are just idiots. Whatever, don't mind.

You don't have to be from Nothern Europe to realize the crazyness about this limitless voracious PoW. 

I believe it can be implemented to be more energy efficient with no major change for anxious miners




(For speculation, if energy becomes too cheap, wouldn't it mean that pow loses its meaning, too)

not at all

but it won't solve the problem because cheap mining will attract more miners


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November 22, 2017, 11:55:46 PM
 #60

over time the value of the electricity consumed by the miners will approach the value of the total block reward of the blocks.

This is a partially concerning part, but it may also be comforting. I'd need to do the math on it first to decide.

After halving, Block reward may as well be at zero. So let's ignore it for the moment. Over the long term, electricity consumption will be dictated by fees paid by users. The total fee (# of txs * average fee) will need to at minimum = the cost of electricity.

A couple things can happen with this:

1. Bitcoins price increases dramatically and covers the ever increasing electricity demands
2. We reach an efficiency bottleneck with ASICs and electricity consumption requirements level off (seems unlikely and also you could just manufacture more asics - so I think this ones out)
3. Average fee price increases to meet the increased demand of electricity
4. # of txs increases to increase the total fees paid
5. Bitcoin doesn't increase in value, fees and txs don't increase, miners hit a bottleneck due to the cost of electricity and profitability. Bitcoin becomes less secure.



You are missing an important parameter: total hashpower (or hash difficulty beause they are linked) that can flucuate depending on how profitable mining is

To sum up all parameters for a simple model you have: average fee, number of transactions per block (can be taken constant), block reward, total hash power, electricity cost
The difficulty is set so the total haspower mines a block every 10minutes  

Do the math doc

What you will be missing then is how the total hashpower increases or decreases depending on the average profit (some miners will quit if their profits are to low and more miners come if profits are high). You can make your own model and find a nice equilibrium.


Too many miners quitting due to loss of profitability = bitcoin security degraded = attacks more likely and bitcoin weaker.

Bad scenario - miner profits drop significantly, miners cannot continue mining, miners sell mining equipment at a discount en masse, a malicious party/government buy up surplus mining equipment, and mine as an attack, not for profit.

That's the danger of the above.

You're right that mining finds an equilibrium, but if that equilibrium is, for example, 50% of previous hash power, that's a HUGE problem.


that's why we should restrict the mining industry ASAP
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