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Author Topic: Debunking the waste of energy argument against Bitcoin  (Read 687 times)
sjefdeklerk
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February 19, 2018, 09:49:06 PM
 #21

Nigeria.
What does 1 corrupt country have to do with the rest of the world? Nigeria is scammer's heaven. I'm sure their government isn't any different.
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February 19, 2018, 10:22:23 PM
 #22

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.



4th one is absolutely correct, no one talks that printing money costs a lot and there are a lot of trees cutted for that.
If you look, both side has arguments to say that energy for bitcoin mining is wasted or not.
You use electricity for miner which does virtual job - mining bitcoins, in reality there is nothing created and even fiatmoney is behind bitcoin because it's value is determined in usd. So can't we say that it's just a pure waste of energy which can be used for more better things?
But now look it on different way, we get decentralized currency which is more independent, anonymous, easy to use and able to save money/bitcoin offline in some small drive.

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February 20, 2018, 07:46:33 AM
 #23

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"
Honestly, if we want to start counting the extreme waste of energy, we would even count more than what the OP has listed. In fact, bitcoin consumes far less, and even its adoption saves even lesser energy that all their useless bullshits that help no one but themselves. They really know the truth, but we already know that, bitcoin has come to disrupt a lot of things, and we would not expect those who it is affecting to keep quiet as they keep getting even more embittered. And you know what? That makes me happy knowing we are really getting at them.
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February 22, 2018, 04:50:18 PM
 #24

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"
Honestly, if we want to start counting the extreme waste of energy, we would even count more than what the OP has listed. In fact, bitcoin consumes far less, and even its adoption saves even lesser energy that all their useless bullshits that help no one but themselves. They really know the truth, but we already know that, bitcoin has come to disrupt a lot of things, and we would not expect those who it is affecting to keep quiet as they keep getting even more embittered. And you know what? That makes me happy knowing we are really getting at them.

Well nothing's a waste as long as you do believe in what you're getting yourself into. For me, if people would want to believe then good. If not, then it's their choice and it's they're loss. Most of the time when people ask me about btc but they have all these negative rebuttals that just seems to try to test me, i just leave them be. It's not my loss anyways

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February 22, 2018, 06:42:17 PM
Merited by richardsNY (1)
 #25

If you take all these factors into account, Bitcoin may actually be less energy-intensive than traditional
fiat currencies.

I would agree with this statement if the following two statements were also true:
1) Bitcoin achieved a comparable transaction throughput than at least one major fiat currency
2) Bitcoin's mining costs would be, at maximum, one order of magnitude higher than today, even if we have mass adoption (meaning: if BTC today is using the same electricity amount than Denmark, then in it's final state it should not use more than "ten Denmarks" or one country like Germany).

Basically, my point is: if Bitcoin achieves a sufficient scalability to be usable by a majority of the world's population - very probably with techniques like LN or sidechains - then your assumption is true. But for a maximum of ~7 tx/second, the Bitcoin ecosystem is using a very high amount of energy.

So for a final conclusion we have to wait if LN works as expected and if not, if there are other techniques to boost transaction throughput.

Quote
Besides, many mining companies have set up their operations in countries with an abundance
of renewable energies like Canada or Iceland.

This could also have side-effects in the future: if the mining industry continues to grow, its demand could have impact in the price of renewable energy. Now the effect is negligible, but I predict if it continues to grow, we would have a similar effect on solar panels and wind turbines that now occurs with graphic cards.

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February 22, 2018, 07:16:39 PM
 #26

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.



Exactly, totally agree.

Producing their fiat money costs more energy than BTC, so what are they are talking about??

Also, they are hindering[1] the invention of more efficient ways of generating energy.
So if the world is wasting energy is their fault, not Bitcoin's.

---
[1] For example there is a law that says if you dare inventing a system with more than 20% efficiency, you cannot release it.
You must give them the specifics of your invention "for review" ( then they just shutdown your project instead of letting you make the world better)
---
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February 22, 2018, 08:58:26 PM
Merited by d5000 (1)
 #27

This could also have side-effects in the future: if the mining industry continues to grow, its demand could have impact in the price of renewable energy. Now the effect is negligible, but I predict if it continues to grow, we would have a similar effect on solar panels and wind turbines that now occurs with graphic cards.

That's pretty much a logical event. If it doesn't happen naturally, large players in the market will increase the price artificially because those who are in need will buy it anyway. It's basically you being able to ask any price (obviously in relative terms) if the demand for energy and other products keeps increasing like we (at least I) expect it to do. As long as the price keeps going up, which will definitely happen long term speaking, it will likely even out the potentially higher cost price of hardware and electricity that miners depend on. For that reason I don't see it be much of a problem for miners itself. It however will impact those (non crypto entities) who need the same resources as miners. It's going to be interesting to see how this will play out in the future....
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February 23, 2018, 12:41:32 AM
 #28

It however will impact those (non crypto entities) who need the same resources as miners. It's going to be interesting to see how this will play out in the future....
Exactly, that's what's worrying me a bit. Everything will depend on what will be the proportion of mining in relation to the the total "electricity producing hardware" market - if it's large at a given time, then the impact on prices will be big.

More precisely one can say:

- The faster the world changes to renewable energies, the less the impact of Bitcoin mining will be.
- The steadier and slower the mining electricity consumption grows, the better (less price impact). At the contrary, if there is a short boom there could be shortages (like GPUs in the altcoin market today)
- The bigger the impact of mining in solar/wind energy hardware prices, the higher the probability of regulation or even prohibtions - the most likely scenario for me, however, would be a special tax on miners that could be used to pay subsidies to other users of "electricity generating hardware".

As miners' electricity consumption depends largely on the Bitcoin price, the best scenario for us would be a steady price/adoption growth without insane bubbles like in 2011, 2013 and 2017. I hope one day that becomes possible.

But as I can't rule out problems in the future, I still support technologies like PoS, proof-of-space/capacity and proof-of-burn that have potentially better energy efficiency, although they may be less secure.

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February 23, 2018, 12:58:53 AM
Last edit: February 23, 2018, 01:57:10 AM by sjefdeklerk
 #29

Producing their fiat money costs more energy than BTC, so what are they are talking about??

This is really such a nonsense. Once traditional paper fiat is printed, which costs does it have ? None! BTC keeps costing energy every single day, it's already costing more energy than a small country uses and who is using BTC anyway to really pay for things? 0.000000000000001% of the people ? And it's at at frikking 51 Twh/year already !!! Let me spell that out for you, that's 51.000.000.000 kilowatt hour/year !! And let me ask you this, do you know of a single person who actually pays stuff with bitcoin? I for sure dont. I know people who trade it, but actually pay with it? I honestly don't know anybody who does that. In fact, I don't even know of a single physical shop that accepts bitcoin in my country anyway.

If you calculate that energy cost per payment then you'd end up with an extremely bizarre number. So this whole thread is just ridiculous.
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February 23, 2018, 07:58:01 AM
 #30

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.


It is basically just a way for them to generate unnecessary and unintelligent FUDs without knowing how stupid they always sound when dishing out shits like that. I often do not even always bother myself participating in such arguments, because at the end of the day, you will realize you are busy arguing with big fools who have no single knowledge of whatever they are saying. In fact, let's even imagine bitcoin consumes more power, who really cares?
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February 23, 2018, 08:27:31 AM
Merited by d5000 (1), NUFCrichard (1)
 #31

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)

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.

Two problems here....

First, the bitcoin network currently has 180k transactions a day.The US army has currently 1 300 000 personnel.
Most of you say banks consume a lot of energy....but how many transactions are banks doing?
Of course this problem will be solved with the LN but till then, it's hilarious to have 800 000 (or something like that) S9 mining non-stop each burning 32 kwh while the network is servicing less people than a bank in Lithuania.

If bitcoin price goes up and there is no rapid improvement and deployment of LN the things will only get worse.
More mining, more energy consumed but still the same capacity.

Second.
As long as somebody in this world consumes coal, you burning free green energy doesn't make things right.
Because if you would stop, then the energy consumed by you would be redirected to the one burning coal energy, and the coal power plant will be shut down.
When you build a green energy source (solar/wind/hydro) you make things better only if you replace the nuclear/coal/gas sources. If the energy you produce is consumed on top of that, there is nothing greener in it.

ps.
There is always this argument, that banks also use energy for ATMs for offices, for POS.
But nobody is speaking about the 8000 nodes that are also on right now. Not the hundreds of servers running exchanges, online wallets etc...

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February 23, 2018, 09:53:00 AM
 #32

Such arguments of mainstreem medias and freens always were pretty funny. They usually start from the energy consumprion of Bitcoin and end somewhere at conclusions that BTC is killing pandas, causes a global warming and takes electricity from the poor african kids. I think that those people should ask themselves a question who da hell is lacking of electricity in the 21st century? For those people who realy don't have access to electricity it is not the problem of cryptocurrencies. The electricity consumption of the whole planet is growing each year but it is not a problem people should care about (especially right now).

Lol. They will always have something to say, won't they? Mainstream media has always been showing how ignorant they have been over the years, and how bad it keeps getting, knowing that they are never ready to do any research or come out to say the real thing. Well, most of them are bought, so being surprised is not something one should be. If they cannot accept the fact that there is really nothing they can do, then they will never stop acting like ignoramuses.
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February 23, 2018, 09:59:57 AM
Merited by pawel7777 (2)
 #33

Quote
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.

I don't think that much was debunked by your post.  

1) the energy consumed is a side-effect, you could actually better name it a waste product, of mining.
2) this may be the case, but how safe does the network have to be? PoW may be currently the most secure, that can change.
3) this is a Krazy (note the capital K) comparison. The US military employs millions of costs trillions to run. It too is a huge waste, but it couldn't be done with 1 guy, unlike the Bitcoin network which could be run on one PC.
4) Fiat money is far from perfect, that is why Satoshi made Bitcoin. If the world went cashless - something most don't want - the costs of fiat money would be very low.
5) Other commodities? you mean Bitcoin is a commodity? In which case it isn't a currency? Ignoring that, much like answer 3 - if 1 guy with 1 spade could mine all the required gold/silver/iron/lead etc that the world needs by himself, I would be strongly for him doing that.

I don't see being a supporter of Bitcoin as being a fan of massive energy wastage. Satoshi himself didn't want an arms race into GPUs, I doubt he envisioned huge ASICS farms using a significant percentage of the worlds supply of electricity!
I don't see an end in sight, but it is certainly a way that Bitcoin will be attacked in the future. When cars have emission limits, do you really think that governments will allow Bitcoin miners to use as much electricity as they want?
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February 23, 2018, 10:07:33 AM
 #34

I agree. Cryptocurrency mining is really not a big deal about power consumption. What I mean about that is cryptocurrencies can be earned from a different way. And aren't we using more energy now compared to before? We are now on a digital age where all of us have gadgets that require energy and blaming it on a few mining rigs is not the way to go. What our government need is to catch up in our power consumption demands or if not the companies making the mining equipment must design better and energy efficient equipments.

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February 23, 2018, 10:08:50 AM
 #35

I agree that the issue of Bitcoin's energy use is overblown hugely out of proportion - first of all because it isn't a waste if it serves a useful purpose. And securing the Bitcoin network has become a very useful purpose in itself. Never mind its implications for modern finance.

I also agree that Bitcoin's energy consumption is unfairly measured, unfairly compared, and unfairly valued. There are just so many factors to take into account other than simple "txs per unit of energy". At least with Bitcoin, you can actually more accurately quantify how much it costs to conduct commerce in the Bitcoin ecosystem. But look at alternatives like Visa (the favourite comparison)... you can't easily put a figure to how much it costs to conduct their commerce. You can estimate salaries of Visa employees, overheads for brick and mortar establishments, even budgets lines for marketing, for security, for brand, R&D, maintenance. None of the comparisons take these other cost-bearing aspects into consideration.

But I also agree that energy consumption should be considered - and it is actually an issue that's been debated even from four, five years ago. Rightfully so.

People complaining about Bitcoin's enegry consumption isn't really what I am bothered by. It's high level politicians talking about Bitcoin's energy consumption being an environmental disaster cracking me up. If they even bothered to care about the environment, they would do something about the larger oil corporations literally poisoning and killing everything that is alive, and that on a daily basis. Just look at what Shell is doing in Nigeria. It's going on for years, but no one even cares to sanction Shell. That basically also goes up for Exxon, Shevron, BP, Total, etc. As long as they are willing to pay their 'contributions', no one will even dare to sanction them, that's how things go - corruption is the desicive factor as always.

This. Can't blame politicians for picking a populist stand on Bitcoin, though. That's sort of their job Wink

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February 23, 2018, 10:37:32 AM
 #36

It had been established in several thread here and even a sample of calculation were produced.  Banks waste more energy than the whole Bitcoin miners.  Anyways, there is no argument that bitcoin mining contributes to global warming and that should be the one we should pay more attention.

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Samarkand
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February 23, 2018, 10:51:04 AM
 #37

...
Second.
As long as somebody in this world consumes coal, you burning free green energy doesn't make things right.
Because if you would stop, then the energy consumed by you would be redirected to the one burning coal energy, and the coal power plant will be shut down....

I concede that my comparison of the energy consumption of the US military to the
energy consumption of Bitcoin mining is somewhat flawed, because they are not directly comparable. However,
I simply wanted to show that there are still many things that are destructive instead of constructive that consume
more energy than Bitcoin mining.

I strongly disagree with the statement in the quote. E.g. if a BTC mining company uses renewable energy
from hydro power in Iceland there is no way that the energy would be redirected to a country that is burning
coal energy if the mining company would stop mining. This is simply completely uneconomical due to the location of Iceland.
On the other hand Bitcoin mining is possible from any place on Earth with an internet connection and therefore it
is a great use of renewable energy that is abundant in countries like Iceland or Canada (countries like Norway would
be great, too, but energy prices are too high there).

alyssa85
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February 23, 2018, 11:15:11 AM
 #38

Chill out people.

I remember the stories around the time Google was doing it's Initial Public Offering (IPO). They decided to by-pass Wall Street and set up an auction for the public where people bid what they wanted to pay.

In response there was a sudden flurry of articles in the press complaining about the energy Googles data centres were using. "As much as 5 million houses" read one title, if I recall correctly. The way people were going on at the time, you would have thought Google caused climate change all by themselves.

Then when people who bought the shares started making profits, the stories suddenly went away!

 
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NUFCrichard
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February 23, 2018, 11:48:55 AM
 #39

Google used 5.1 TWh in 2015. Bitcoin is at 51 Twh.
Google offsets all of it's carbon footprint.
Google has over 90,000 employees.

I think that even the vast majority of people here use Google more often than they use Bitcoin!

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February 23, 2018, 12:13:42 PM
 #40

Google used 5.1 TWh in 2015. Bitcoin is at 51 Twh.
Google offsets all of it's carbon footprint.
Google has over 90,000 employees.

I think that even the vast majority of people here use Google more often than they use Bitcoin!



I´ve admitted that my comparison of Bitcoin mining to the US Military was somewhat flawed.
But I could easily argue that your comparison is flawed as well!

After all you are comparing a company with centralized solutions like a search engine
or a video sharing service to the best invention of the 21st century. If all Google services were
gone by tomorrow no one would really notice, because there are plenty of other search engines and
plenty of other video sharing services.

On the other hand if Bitcoin was gone by tomorrow this would be the death of the idea of a decentralized,
global world currency (or more accurate: an immutable settlement layer, because it will likely never be
used the same way that fiat is used now). If anyone of you thinks that a random altcoin would simply
take Bitcoin´s spot you are completely delusional.

Bitcoin could consume 100x the energy of Google and that still wouldn´t change the fact that one
is easily replaceable and the other is unique.
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