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Author Topic: Debunking the waste of energy argument against Bitcoin  (Read 643 times)
cpfreeplz
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February 25, 2018, 03:58:51 AM
 #61

4. No one is talking about the enormous costs of transporting fiat money, securing it and printing it in the first place


Omg this x1000. You would never be able to accurately figure out how much it would cost in fiat, to make fiat, because it's all denominated in the currency that you're creating. That just boggles my mind. How do people not realize that moving metal and paper across the country and creating it so sooooo expensive!?
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February 25, 2018, 12:14:54 PM
 #62

And then there's modern Proof-of-Stake.

All Proof-of-Stake arguments and hate is from bitcoin maximalists that keep bringing up 5 year old arguments for issues with PoS that have long been solved.
It can actually be argued that modern PoS with decent distribution is more secure and more expensive and difficult to attack than PoW.

It does not matter if the energy is used or wasted. Superior alternatives are available and we should make use of that and not hold on to the past.

You are wrong. The problem with pure PoS blockchains is the initial distribution of coins. How do we know the coins were distributed fairly and how do we know no one owns 51% or more of the coins.

A good Proof of Capacity implementation is a better solution than both PoW and PoS. Its cheaper, more energy efficient and doesnt cause environmental pollution as much.

Educate yourself.

A PoC and PoS comparison

Why Proof of Capacity should be taken seriously part 1

Why Proof of Capacity should be taken seriously part 2

Why Proof of Capacity should be taken seriously part 3


Thanks, i'll read up on that.

[edit]
Ah yes, i was aware of this system, we just don't see it much yet.
[/edit]

My point wasn't to put forward PoS as ultimate solution.
We should just always be looking to improve.
Which Bitcoin has stopped doing 8 years ago.
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February 25, 2018, 03:09:51 PM
 #63

How do people not realize that moving metal and paper across the country and creating it so sooooo expensive!?
Such a nonsense. Besides, people actually USE paper money. Nobody uses bitcoin. 150k BTC transactions per day currently, remove the broker/trading related transactions, how many are left to actually pay for goods? Pretty much nobody uses it, yet it already costs 51 Twh/year, more than a country like Portugal uses!
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February 25, 2018, 06:11:55 PM
Merited by pinkflower (2)
 #64

You are wrong. The problem with pure PoS blockchains is the initial distribution of coins. How do we know the coins were distributed fairly and how do we know no one owns 51% or more of the coins.
I don't want to "shill" for PoS here, but: It's always possible to distribute the coins via PoW in an initial stage, like Peercoin did. But your criticism applies to the biggest PoS coins (Cardano, NEM, Waves, Ardor/Ignis/Nxt).
Quote
A good Proof of Capacity implementation is a better solution than both PoW and PoS. Its cheaper, more energy efficient and doesnt cause environmental pollution as much.

Just yesterday I wrote a post about PoC in another thread (it may have been buried by spam already, as it was in the "Altcoin Discussion" forum). I assume that PoC is really more energy-efficient than PoW, but I would like to see an in-depth calculation how big the difference is.

I assume that the relation of 1/500 (Burst transactions using 0.2% of Bitcoin's energy) that is cited on the Burst homepage is wrong and that the difference is smaller, because you have to take into account the energy wasted when the hardware is produced, and because I doubt the calculation is really fair (that means: one has to compare a Burst blockchain with the same security level/attack costs than Bitcoin).

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February 26, 2018, 01:40:46 AM
 #65

The way they want to distribute a PoS coin is by having an ICO behind it. It fills the developer's pockets and assures them that they have some payment for their work and it can fund the project for years. I am not saying its a bad model to acquire funds, but it is open to corruption.

If they have a PoW distribution stage, mining has go on for years to have a moderately fair distribution. Ethereum is a good example. But why dont new projects use Proof of Capacity for their distribution stage? Its cheaper.

https://www.burst-coin.org/proof-of-capacity - Ensuring Maximum Fairness And Trivial Energy Consumption
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February 26, 2018, 01:59:28 AM
 #66

The hilarious thing about comparing it to fiat though, is that in the case with the US dollar, the value of the dollar is based on trust in the state which is:

  • Ensured by the government, whom we can't even trust to run efficiently with our tax money (i.e: causing shut downs over petty politics)
  • Protected by the military, who wastes so much effort, time, money and resources on government "contractors", which is a shit show in itself.  Seriously though... if you are interested in listening to a 1hr+ podcast on the topic I recommend listening to this one from Congressional Dish.
  • Purchase power of the dollar comes directly from our involvement in making sure that our currency is the currency all other currencies have to use in order to purchase oil, gas, etc (a.k.a. the "petro dollar") ... This is makes it funny just based on the amount of pollution that comes from carbon fuels.

fiat is the root of all evil in mind, and always will be until I'm proven wrong.

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March 01, 2018, 10:33:25 AM
 #67

The hilarious thing about comparing it to fiat though, is that in the case with the US dollar, the value of the dollar is based on trust in the state which is:

  • Ensured by the government, whom we can't even trust to run efficiently with our tax money (i.e: causing shut downs over petty politics)
  • Protected by the military, who wastes so much effort, time, money and resources on government "contractors", which is a shit show in itself.  Seriously though... if you are interested in listening to a 1hr+ podcast on the topic I recommend listening to this one from Congressional Dish.
  • Purchase power of the dollar comes directly from our involvement in making sure that our currency is the currency all other currencies have to use in order to purchase oil, gas, etc (a.k.a. the "petro dollar") ... This is makes it funny just based on the amount of pollution that comes from carbon fuels.

fiat is the root of all evil in mind, and always will be until I'm proven wrong.

No one is disagreeing with what you say here, but it also has nothing to do with this thread!
Bitcoin is a massive waste of energy. All comparisons are unfair, as nothing else runs purposely so inefficiently.  Bitcoin could be run on a laptop, instead it uses as much energy as a country.
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March 01, 2018, 04:05:15 PM
 #68

Coincenter´s attempt to debunk the waste of energy argument against Bitcoin:
https://coincenter.org/entry/five-myths-about-bitcoin-s-energy-use

They make some good points, too.



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March 01, 2018, 04:19:44 PM
 #69

Coincenter´s attempt to debunk the waste of energy argument against Bitcoin:
https://coincenter.org/entry/five-myths-about-bitcoin-s-energy-use

They make some good points, too.
Some arguments are good, but the first two paragraphs are a bit shallow.

Myth 1 ("Miners are spending tons of electricity performing a useless calculation") could be "not so much a myth" if we found out that other mechanisms like Proof-of-stake and Proof-of-capacity are secure enough for a cryptocurrency (and it seems so ...). In this case, the calculations are somewhat useless, because there are methods that achieve a similar security with less waste. For example, a steam engine today is almost useless because we have much more efficient engines.

Regarding Myth 2 ("Energy use scales with number of transactions"), I would criticise that a higher transaction rate should be at least correlated with a higher price (Quantity Theory of Money!), and that a higher transaction rate also means higher transaction fees because there is more competition for block space. So there very likely is a correlation between transaction rate and miner income (and thus, miners' waste). But I agree that it would never "boil the oceans".

Myths 3 to 5 are OK, I agree there. As I said earlier, I have some hopes for large scale renewable-energy mining facilities being a possible solution for Bitcoin's energy waste.

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March 01, 2018, 04:54:27 PM
 #70

I´m tired of hearing the argument "but Bitcoin wastes more energy than
a whole country..." all over the mainstream media.

Here are a few reasons why the energy that is consumed by Bitcoin mining is not wasted:
1. The energy that is consumed by Bitcoin mining is the foundation of the security of the network
2. Proof-of-work is superior to other consensus algorithms like Proof-of-Stake and offers less attack vectors
3. Fiat currencies are supposedly backed by the power of the state... meanwhile the US military consumes more energy than Bitcoin mining per year
(this is a comparison of the military of a single country compared to a truly global currency)
4. No one is talking about the enormous costs of transporting fiat money, securing it and printing it in the first place
5. The mining of other commodities is extremely energy-intensive as well

If you take all these factors into account, Bitcoin may actually be less energy-intensive than traditional
fiat currencies. Besides, many mining companies have set up their operations in countries with an abundance
of renewable energies like Canada or Iceland. The days where Bitcoin was solely mined in rural Mongolia and China
may finally be behind us.


1. So what? Being the foundation of the network doesn't mean its not wasted. Knowing for a fact that there are better alternatives (PoS v3, for example), we can argue that it is possible to sustain a secure crypto network without wasting huge amounts of power.

2. Can you prove that? Can you? Or is it just your belief? How do explain the recent rise of new PoS coins, and even the ETH plans to transition to PoS? I'm guessing all these guys are stupid... right? PoW is an obsolete consensus mechanism, there are better alternatives. Period!

3. Comparing BTC with the US military is so ridiculous I'm not even going to bother with any comments...

4. This is just ignorance, nothing else. Wake up, man! Most of us have been using plastic money for the last 10~15 years! Do you still believe in huge armored convoys, SWAT escorts, helicopters flying to protect bags filled with coins and bank notes? That's in the movies! In the real world, those movements occur very seldom and their cost cannot be compared to BTC's energy waste.

5. Yes, it is. So what? You justify one mistake with another? What a nice argument... PoW's energy waste cannot be excused because oil, gold or diamond companies are also wasting power. They are all wrong!

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March 01, 2018, 05:20:45 PM
 #71

2. Proof-of-work is superior to other consensus algorithms like Proof-of-Stake and offers less attack vectors
2. Can you prove that? Can you? Or is it just your belief? How do explain the recent rise of new PoS coins, and even the ETH plans to transition to PoS? I'm guessing all these guys are stupid... right? PoW is an obsolete consensus mechanism, there are better alternatives. Period!
I support PoS (and PoC) research, and as I said in my last post I don't rule out that at the end it could be a better mechanism and PoW would then be regarded as "useless". But PoW without doubts has some advantages to PoS, like a higher "objectivity" when determining the longest chain (it is a full consensus method, while PoS can achieve only partly consensus and needs some subjectivity, in all its variants), and as a possibility for a relative "fair" coin distribution (compared to ICOs).

So I would be careful to describe it as "obsolete". For me, the discussion between PoW and alternative security mechanisms is still ongoing. It's not that I support theft, but I would really like to see an attack on a big PoS coin (let's say, NEM or Cardano) only to know how it plays out. Wink

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March 01, 2018, 09:49:37 PM
 #72

Coincenter´s attempt to debunk the waste of energy argument against Bitcoin:
https://coincenter.org/entry/five-myths-about-bitcoin-s-energy-use
They make some good points, too.

Quote
credit card transaction is not a settled payment. It is a payment authorization, merely the beginning of a convoluted dance between no fewer than five players (the cardholder, the card issuing bank, the card network, the merchant acquiring bank, and the merchant)

In contrast, a Bitcoin transaction is settled the moment it hits the blockchain (but you should wait about an hour for good security). And it never travels through any clunky analog institutions along the way. The miner who put it in a block probably used a bunch of electricity, it’s true, but that amount is substantially less than the energy it costs to keep no fewer than three Fortune 500 financial companies running at full steam for a few days.

This is a really biased view..
A transaction is sent by you (using a computer or a phone) is picked by a node, it might sit in the mempool for a while , it gets picked by a miner, the block is relayed to nodes, the guy that received that transaction has to check his computer or smartphone too.
All those eat up energy just like POS terminals or ATMs.

Quote
Aluminum smelting consumes about 3% of the entire global supply of energy, yet we don’t read articles raising the alarm on unibody MacBook Pros like we see about Bitcoin.

Probably there are more articles about the pollution aluminium does than all the articles about bitcoin.
And imagine a world without aluminium and a world without bitcoin.
Really? Is that even a comparison?

As for the others I agree with the points, but that doesn't make things that much better overall.


It's quite scary, the maximum installed capacity of all the nuclear plants (capable of producing energy, not online) is around 400GW and 750 GW when it comes to hydro (again maximum installed)

Yep. However, we can use also a more "ecologic" source for the comparison: solar energy. And then it becomes less scary.

Let's take Andasol, a solar concentration plant in Spain. It generates 150 MW or 110 GWh/year, on 56 ha. To get the 1,38 TW of the most pessimistic assumption, solar plants of the same efficiency in the same climate (and Andasol-1 is already 10 years old) would have to cover 56 * (1380000/150) = 515200 ha or 5152 square km. This is less than the size of the US state of Delaware.

Oh, I looked for this post about an hour and then I gave up, just to run into it a minute after.
I remembered somebody told me about solar and I wanted so much to reply to it ....but it took me a while ...mainly because I spent 36 hours with no electricity in my town. Tongue

But leaving the power grid aside, do you know what the production of all the solar panels was during this week?
A peak of 14MW, out of an installed capacity of 1790MW in the whole country.
Eolian energy was also down because ironically enough the wind speed was too high ...
Guess what rescued the situation?
Good old coal, producing almost 40%.

I understand you want to put those panels only where snow storms don't happen but what country will do this?
Depending entirely on imports? No, it will never happen.
And if it does, it's going to be ugly when there will be an emergency.

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March 01, 2018, 09:58:24 PM
 #73

1. So what? Being the foundation of the network doesn't mean its not wasted. Knowing for a fact that there are better alternatives (PoS v3, for example), we can argue that it is possible to sustain a secure crypto network without wasting huge amounts of power.

Fact? I'm supportive of the idea that less energy-intensive Byzantine fault tolerance mechanisms can succeed. I haven't seen evidence that there are alternative systems that can even begin to approach Bitcoin's security guarantees.

One of the problems is that POS analysis depends on massive, unproven assumptions. It will be a decade or more before we can have an honest discussion of the merits of ideally-designed POS vs. POW. There simply isn't real-world evidence to back up the assumptions or suggest true hardness from a network security perspective.

2. Can you prove that? Can you? Or is it just your belief? How do explain the recent rise of new PoS coins, and even the ETH plans to transition to PoS? I'm guessing all these guys are stupid... right? PoW is an obsolete consensus mechanism, there are better alternatives. Period!

If POS is unproven or cannot presently provide the same security guarantees as POW, that doesn't mean that Vlad Zamfir is stupid. The recent rise of POS coins doesn't mean anything except that the market wants them, for better or worse.

5. Yes, it is. So what? You justify one mistake with another? What a nice argument... PoW's energy waste cannot be excused because oil, gold or diamond companies are also wasting power. They are all wrong!

This gets back to the original problem. Obviously, if a POS system can provide security guarantees as strong as Bitcoin's, that would be preferable. I disagree that POW's energy waste is "wrong" given the lack of energy-sustainable alternatives.

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March 02, 2018, 03:12:42 AM
 #74

But leaving the power grid aside, do you know what the production of all the solar panels was during this week?
A peak of 14MW, out of an installed capacity of 1790MW in the whole country.
Eolian energy was also down because ironically enough the wind speed was too high ...
Guess what rescued the situation?
Good old coal, producing almost 40%.

I understand you want to put those panels only where snow storms don't happen but what country will do this?
Depending entirely on imports? No, it will never happen.
And if it does, it's going to be ugly when there will be an emergency.
My hopes for solar/wind energy are based on the "utopia" that most miners could produce their own energy for their farm in a few years. In many countries, using solar energy for own consumption is already cheaper than using grid electricity - but yes, the "cheapest grid electricity" is still cheaper, so that change won't take place tomorrow.

These miners could install their farms in countries/regions with high solar/wind energy potential, like North Africa, South-Western U.S., the Central Andes or Patagonia. As they would live off the grid their operation wouldn't influence local grid stability. Hardware costs could be higher for these farms, as they wouldn't run 24/7 (if they don't buy electricity storage capacity) and so the hardware would not use their full potential all the day, but eventually they would produce a better ROI than conventional farms connected to a local electricity grid because the "cost per hash" would be lower.

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March 02, 2018, 03:37:55 AM
 #75

I always wonder if those poeple would say the same thing to guy paid to drive a armored car to move funds from A to B, and risk his life every day.

"Hey honey, you are doing a pretty useless job. Also, it is an extreme waste of energy"
nice spot there huh?😂😂😂 this is the problem when someone's throwing stone to others when the truth is he deserves to be the one to be thrown..every energy uses in cypto has been paid for consumption so what the fuck is their problem with that,and as far as i know,more miners now are using solar power or some energy providing system just to save cost or to help environment

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March 02, 2018, 02:26:59 PM
Last edit: March 02, 2018, 02:37:35 PM by stompix
 #76

But leaving the power grid aside, do you know what the production of all the solar panels was during this week?
A peak of 14MW, out of an installed capacity of 1790MW in the whole country.
Eolian energy was also down because ironically enough the wind speed was too high ...
Guess what rescued the situation?
Good old coal, producing almost 40%.

I understand you want to put those panels only where snow storms don't happen but what country will do this?
Depending entirely on imports? No, it will never happen.
And if it does, it's going to be ugly when there will be an emergency.
My hopes for solar/wind energy are based on the "utopia" that most miners could produce their own energy for their farm in a few years. In many countries, using solar energy for own consumption is already cheaper than using grid electricity - but yes, the "cheapest grid electricity" is still cheaper, so that change won't take place tomorrow.

These miners could install their farms in countries/regions with high solar/wind energy potential, like North Africa, South-Western U.S., the Central Andes or Patagonia. As they would live off the grid their operation wouldn't influence local grid stability. Hardware costs could be higher for these farms, as they wouldn't run 24/7 (if they don't buy electricity storage capacity) and so the hardware would not use their full potential all the day, but eventually they would produce a better ROI than conventional farms connected to a local electricity grid because the "cost per hash" would be lower.

There are a lot of problems with solar, and this is why I refuse to think of it as a solution.
Population growth means more square feet for each new inhabitant, for housing, for food for everything.
And more energy, and more space needed for solar panels.

Each household in the UK consumes 4500kwh, in China only 1300kwh.
When they will finally afford all the things an European has, imagine this x3.
And we're also adding electric cars to this whole mess, 1kwh  for each 5km.
And on top of this ...let's add a few TW for mining:P No, it won't work.

Speaking strictly of miners, do you think in the next decade countries and governments will just let miners spread solar panels all over the place, and not intervene?
They will either tax it or simply ban private solar fields from certain regions as they will need this energy fro themselves.

If BTC will stay around this price for a little while, (as in 3 years till the next halving) we will probably avoid one hell of a mess. If the price will jump to 100k we are going to se a another gold rush of epic proportions.



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March 02, 2018, 02:37:26 PM
 #77

But leaving the power grid aside, do you know what the production of all the solar panels was during this week?
A peak of 14MW, out of an installed capacity of 1790MW in the whole country.
Eolian energy was also down because ironically enough the wind speed was too high ...
Guess what rescued the situation?
Good old coal, producing almost 40%.

I understand you want to put those panels only where snow storms don't happen but what country will do this?
Depending entirely on imports? No, it will never happen.
And if it does, it's going to be ugly when there will be an emergency.
My hopes for solar/wind energy are based on the "utopia" that most miners could produce their own energy for their farm in a few years. In many countries, using solar energy for own consumption is already cheaper than using grid electricity - but yes, the "cheapest grid electricity" is still cheaper, so that change won't take place tomorrow.

These miners could install their farms in countries/regions with high solar/wind energy potential, like North Africa, South-Western U.S., the Central Andes or Patagonia. As they would live off the grid their operation wouldn't influence local grid stability. Hardware costs could be higher for these farms, as they wouldn't run 24/7 (if they don't buy electricity storage capacity) and so the hardware would not use their full potential all the day, but eventually they would produce a better ROI than conventional farms connected to a local electricity grid because the "cost per hash" would be lower.
The cheapest electricity is produced by nuclear power plants. At the moment, I see no alternative. Talking about the great environmental risks of such power plants is a myth. The struggle for ecology has long been turned into a business. I think nuclear power is the cheapest and the most environmentally friendly energy. It seems to me that investing in mining equipment is more profitable than investing in the construction of wind and solar power plants.
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March 02, 2018, 02:43:18 PM
 #78

There are a lot of problems with solar, and this is why I refuse to think of it as a solution.
Population growth means more square feet for each new inhabitant, for housing, for food for everything.
And more energy, and more space needed for solar panels.

Each household in the UK consumes 4500kwh, in China only 1300kwh.
When they will finally afford all the things an European has, imagine this x3.
And we're also adding electric cars to this whole mess, 1kwh  for each 5km.
And on top of this ...let's add a few TW for mining:P No, it won't work.

Speaking strictly of miners, do you think in the next decade countries and governments will just let miners spread solar panels all over the place, and not intervene?
The market can regulate that, in a way that only large solar fields in very sunny and sparsely populated areas (with low land property costs) are profitable. I've already mentioned some regions - an ideal region for that would be the Altiplano/Atacama Desert in South-Western South America (Argentina/Chile/Bolivia) with extremely sunny conditions and not too much heat. There are 1-3 persons per square kilometer there, or even less.

And as I've said - the required total space for a "mega solar field" that would generate the whole energy for a $2 million Bitcoin (see my calculation some posts ago based on the Andasol plants) would be probably not much larger than a small US state of ~10000 square km.

I think in densely populated regions you may be right, there could be restrictions, like a mining tax, or local governments refusing authorizing large solar fields only for mining. But in many regions of Europe anyway a wind/solar combination may be better. And I don't think countries like Morocco, Bolivia, Argelia, Argentina or Chile would restrict solar mining in their desert regions. It would be too lucrative to simply tax these miners ... maybe even the State would mine in these regions.

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March 02, 2018, 05:54:09 PM
 #79

The hilarious thing about comparing it to fiat though, is that in the case with the US dollar, the value of the dollar is based on trust in the state which is:

  • Ensured by the government, whom we can't even trust to run efficiently with our tax money (i.e: causing shut downs over petty politics)
  • Protected by the military, who wastes so much effort, time, money and resources on government "contractors", which is a shit show in itself.  Seriously though... if you are interested in listening to a 1hr+ podcast on the topic I recommend listening to this one from Congressional Dish.
  • Purchase power of the dollar comes directly from our involvement in making sure that our currency is the currency all other currencies have to use in order to purchase oil, gas, etc (a.k.a. the "petro dollar") ... This is makes it funny just based on the amount of pollution that comes from carbon fuels.

fiat is the root of all evil in mind, and always will be until I'm proven wrong.

No one is disagreeing with what you say here, but it also has nothing to do with this thread!
Bitcoin is a massive waste of energy. All comparisons are unfair, as nothing else runs purposely so inefficiently.  Bitcoin could be run on a laptop, instead it uses as much energy as a country.

I highlighted what I was initially trying to get at in terms of comparing fiat and Bitcoin and which one "wastes more energy".  Yeah, if you are looking at the numbers at face value, you can argue Bitcoin "wastes" more energy, I guess, in terms of how much hash power is securing the network.  You could also argue it doesn't take tetra watts upon tetra watts to print dollar bills, and that in it's self should be a good enough reason to confirm that fiat is the better way to go in terms of not "wasting energy" and therefor harming the environment, wasting resources, etc.

But if you see below what's at face value, and you see just how the dollar still has the ability to maintain any purchasing power whatsoever, you could see how there needs to be wayyyyyy more resources, effort, *energy expenditure*, etc. to make sure that 'country Xs' fiat money has purchasing power behind it on a global scale.  Easiest one to compare in that regard is how the US maintains purchasing power, not because the global economy believes in the US economy; but it's more due to military strength and making sure the global economy basically runs on the USD in terms of purchasing oil, natural gases and the like.

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May 18, 2018, 01:50:17 PM
 #80

I´m tired of hearing the argument "but Bitcoin wastes more energy than
a whole country..." all over the mainstream media.

Here are a few reasons why the energy that is consumed by Bitcoin mining is not wasted:
1. The energy that is consumed by Bitcoin mining is the foundation of the security of the network
2. Proof-of-work is superior to other consensus algorithms like Proof-of-Stake and offers less attack vectors
3. Fiat currencies are supposedly backed by the power of the state... meanwhile the US military consumes more energy than Bitcoin mining per year
(this is a comparison of the military of a single country compared to a truly global currency)
4. No one is talking about the enormous costs of transporting fiat money, securing it and printing it in the first place
5. The mining of other commodities is extremely energy-intensive as well

If you take all these factors into account, Bitcoin may actually be less energy-intensive than traditional
fiat currencies. Besides, many mining companies have set up their operations in countries with an abundance
of renewable energies like Canada or Iceland. The days where Bitcoin was solely mined in rural Mongolia and China
may finally be behind us.



The BTC network does around 3-4 transactions/s with the costs of electricity of an entire country. Meanwhile Visa can process 2000/second with the costs of running a normal datacenter. What do you thing will happen when BTC will actually get used like Visa or Mastercard is? I pay everything right now with a credit card, even 2$ transactions.

Also the BTC vs cash money comparison is flawed. It should be BTC vs wire transfers vs credit cards.

The market can regulate that, in a way that only large solar fields in very sunny and sparsely populated areas (with low land property costs) are profitable. I've already mentioned some regions - an ideal region for that would be the Altiplano/Atacama Desert in South-Western South America (Argentina/Chile/Bolivia) with extremely sunny conditions and not too much heat. There are 1-3 persons per square kilometer there, or even less.

And as I've said - the required total space for a "mega solar field" that would generate the whole energy for a $2 million Bitcoin (see my calculation some posts ago based on the Andasol plants) would be probably not much larger than a small US state of ~10000 square km.

I think in densely populated regions you may be right, there could be restrictions, like a mining tax, or local governments refusing authorizing large solar fields only for mining. But in many regions of Europe anyway a wind/solar combination may be better. And I don't think countries like Morocco, Bolivia, Argelia, Argentina or Chile would restrict solar mining in their desert regions. It would be too lucrative to simply tax these miners ... maybe even the State would mine in these regions.

solar energy has the huge downside of being dependant on weather and time of day, while mining requires constant 24/7 energy. At night the powergrid would overload. The only way to sustain the mining requirements are coal and nuclear plants.
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